I’ve been living in my head all day. It’s seven hours since I bested my will and crawled out of my bag into the frosty dawn. I’m covered now in gritty sweat, and miles from my Jeep, alone, lying awkwardly contorted on top of my pack. I lost my footing sidehilling a steep embankment, rolled for a bit, then abruptly piled up against a serendipitously lodged rock, battered and plenty pissed. I sit up, wipe my face, and take a few lung-filling breaths. My hands start to shake a bit, then violently. I close my eyes and begin to weep, then scream. Loudly. Voice cracking through my dry throat, I’m spewing up years of bottled rage, hurt, and regret. It’s cathartic, and I roll around in it like a pig in shit. I’m done running, done shoving it back down. I stop suddenly and look around wide-eyed. My dad is sitting here with me, his arm around me, and he pulls me in. “I love you, buddy.” I’m a 12-year-old boy again and we’re walking together in the dark to our stands. And then I am alone again. I sit for a few minutes on that steep Colorado mountainside. Then I stand up, shoulder my pack, cinch the waist belt, and resume the hunt. I’m okay. I’ll be okay.