Here I am, waiting for my tattoo appointment.

A little nervous. Will it hurt a lot? Not that pain is something I can not bear, right? The guy who is going to do it is apparently a guest artist from Australia. He is a surfer and photographer, and, hopefully a good tattoo-er.

I know, my tattoo is going to be ridiculously small, these guys here tattoo whole arms and legs and other big body parts. All I want though is a simple tiny script. One line of text. On my left arm, so that I can read it whenever I need to.

Alright, here we go. I talk to Nic and explain to him what I want. I give him the draft I had prepared. I want it to be done in the font “Sofia Pro”. It is one of my favorite fonts of all times. So simple. So elegant. So clean.

He wants me to lay down on a table thing which reminds me of a table you have to lay down at the doctors.

“You will be surprised Heidi how little this will hurt”, he says.

“Alright then Nic, give it to me”.

He starts and sticks the needle into my flesh.

“Have you started yet Nic?”

Ha! It really does almost not hurt! In the contrary, it is a kind of cool little tiny good “yea, I am getting a tattoo” kind of pain feeling.


Its done. I can look at it.

“Wow! I like!”

“Nic, that’s exactly what I had in mind, thank you man, great job!”.

I am so excited to have my PCT tattoo now. My learning from the PCT, consolidated into one single phrase. It is a bit inflamed still, but wounds heal, I sure know that!



OK, this is done. Tattoo: check.

Guys out there, if you feel you need your own tattoo done, but are not sure and are a little afraid of it. All I can say:

“Do it!”


On another subject (and speaking of pain perhaps), my legs still hurt.

I need to see my doctor.

He says:

“our bodies are perfectly capable to endure extreme strain. But not a strain which lasts for five months!”

Perhaps the PCT was indeed a bit too much for my body (as I am obviously not a spring chicken anymore). He advises me to get some physiotherapy.

I make an appointment.

The physiotherapist listens to my story, shakes her head in disbelieve, examines my legs, squeezes them, I scream, she says:

“your muscles are not in a straight line anymore, they are all over the place, like knots one has in the hair after washing them. That’s what causes the pain. We need to LOOSEN them up again, as they are all still cramping.”

Hell yes, when I hike in Switzerland these days, I have to pause once in a while as my Achilles and legs are just too sore. Even though I hike super ultra light, with no backpack at all!




So I lay here, she puts pressure on my sore spots and I sweat and scream.

“Boy this hurts!”

She still shakes her head about what I have done this summer and grabs a needle. She searches for the most sore spot in my leg and sticks the needle right in it.

“Oh hell – oh bloody fucking hell! THIS HURTS!”

That is so much worse than the tattoo needle. In fact, that is nothing in comparison!

She assures me that this is the best way to stop the muscles from cramping.


“After this treatment, you will be very very sore for the rest of the day I am afraid, she says”.

“And we have to do this procedure for the next few weeks.”

Oh hell. Here we go again. Pain Constantly Tolerated. But that’s OK. I am grateful that she can help. She advises me not to hike for the next few weeks/months. Or at least not uphill.

“Get some bloody damn rest Heidi”.

“But! But I am doing Crossfit now, and BodyToning. Is this OK, can I still do this?”

“If you must, but don’t overdue it. GET SOME REST Heidi”.

Alright. I promise to take it easy for a while.

This all makes me wonder about how many thru-hikers need to consult a physiotherapist after they return home. Perhaps Mac from Halfwayanywhere should add this question to his annual PCT survey statistics.

So I try not to go hiking. It is snowing in Switzerland anyway now.

Guess if nature can come to a halt, I can do too.


But I am already finding myself searching the internet for my next big Long Distance Hike. I need to get out there with my Big Agnes again soon. I have already some particular hikes in mind!

I am hooked!

I keep you posted!

6 replies
  1. Marlise says:

    Yes…you did it…all…
    Even the NEEEEEEDELING in both ways…
    The tatoo is GREAT (not on first sight)…but it is like you PROFOUND in it’s real and stylish way!
    Big hug

  2. Cherylc says:

    Heide i followed you for much of trail. You are so tough. I feel like you really enjoyed it even through the pain. But much of the trail is so awesome. Please come back so another hike here in USA. Maybe Rocky Mountains? Best of luck!

  3. Bert says:

    Simple and clean, so wie die Schrift so auch dein Tattoo. Prima…Wünsch dir wegen den Beinen gute Besserung, frohe Weihnachten und viel Freude beim planen :) Bleib gesund…


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