I had mountains on the mind last night. I sat at the top of San Gorgonio in the dark, watching millions of city lights flicker in the distance. I thought of Whitney (pictured here), because I’d like to nail it in the next year — and because a lot of people use the 18 mile slog up and down San G as a training run for the biggest 14er in California. If you can do San G, you can do Whitney. I did San G, but it was sloppy and slow. Once you hit 11k feet, it has a funny way of knocking you on your ass, and descending 5,400 feet absolutely demolished my knees. If “doing” San G means slaying San G, I didn’t really DO San G. I really hit the wall as far as my current physical limitations, but you don’t know what those are until you push them, and over the last 24 hours, I did just that. My goal was to do the 3 biggest peaks in SoCal (San Gorgonio, San Jacinto and San Antonio), between 10:30am yesterday and 10:30am today. Last week I took a nasty fall before I even hit the trail, and it banged up my knees so badly, I was in tears the night it happened. In the days after that, I went back and forth over whether I wanted to go through with this. I knew there was a chance I wouldn’t finish in time, but I still wanted to try. And early this morning, after thinking I had it in the bag, I realized I wasn’t going to be able to do the third peak in the challenge. I did San Jacinto and San Gorgonio, logging 30 miles and 8k feet of gain, but I had to bail on Baldy (aka San Antonio), because I didn't feel like I could get up and down safely, and I didn’t want to risk further injury. I was disappointed that I “failed,” because I wanted to bag all 3 in 24 hours, but I don’t know if it would be correct to call it failure. That’s the most mileage I’ve ever logged in one day, and hiking Gorgonio in and of itself is something to be proud of, even if you struggle at some points. It showed me what I need to improve upon if I want to do bigger hikes, and it really only gets better from here. Just because you don’t nail something the first time around doesn’t mean it’s not worth pursuing. If we never failed, and our goals were too easy to obtain, what would they be worth, anyway?