A short, Asian man approached me early in the morning as I was walking into town from my tent in Mount San Jacinto State Park. It was around 6:30 AM. I had seen this person before from a distance, but had never met or spoken to him. As far as I know, we have no common friends or acquaintances.

He said to me, "I just wanted you to know that you are doing the right thing."


"How is your knee doing?"

Ok, this is getting weird.

"I wanted you to know that this is not a race. You are doing the right thing by slowing down and taking a day or two to heal."

Huh. Good point.

"You want to prove to yourself that your knee, or anything else, will not stop you, and so you push yourself hard. You are doing the right thing now. Do not worry."

Words are not forming sentences in my brain.

"My name is Zen Fart."

Yep, that's it. Officially the weirdest, most revealing and spot on assessment of me on the trail yet. Maybe off trail too.