In December 2014, feeling a bit of spiritual ennui, I set off on a hike (privilege alert!) for spiritual renewal on the Pacific Crest Trail. My plan was to hike north from Campo, California (the start of the PTC) to Highway 10, approximately 210 miles. When asked why I was going, I hesitated to say that I was seeking spiritual renewal for fear of opening up myself up further inquiry. Instead, my stock response was, “the mountains are calling.” That response, by the way, was partly true. Immediately when I started telling others about my journey, the response was some iteration of, “Are you flipping nuts?!? You are going to hike, solo, 210 miles, in December, on a trail that you have no experience hiking before?” To which I cooly responded, “Yes, yes I am.” Countless people tried to discourage me from going. And while I had a few moments of doubt, something deep down told me that this was part of my Path; I had to go.
During my 210 mile sojourn, I saw three people–that’s all. I experienced long stretches of cool isolation, feeling often at times as if I were the last person on Earth. I encountered feisty rattlesnakes, a curious mountain lion and even survived (barely) a fierce rainstorm. My back ached from carrying my life on my back; my life weighed about 50 pounds. My feet constantly ached and if I eat a Cliff Bar again, it won’t be for a very long time. But while I faced mild hardship, there were plenty of truly beautiful moments. I climbed to mountain summits, meditated along mountain ridges and even made a snow angel in an enchanted forest. In many ways, it was a transformative experience, an experience that gave me more than I sought.
This hike parallels the Tiny Docs story and what it means to be an entrepreneur. It requires resolve and a small dose of lunacy to start this business. Yes, there are moments of doubt and times when I question my own sanity, but at the end of the day, I know that this is the Path. While there are startup challenges, there are awesome moments that are like making a snow angel in an enchanted forest.
Helping children and families understand health issues through cartoons is something that I am incredibly passionate about. In spite of people saying that we are crazy for trying to solve this problem, in the byzantine landscape of healthcare, we will continue to answer the call. After all, it’s part of the Path.