Beginner's Spirit: The Templeton Tonics Philosophy

Beginner's Spirit: The Templeton Tonics Philosophy

One of the many things I love about being the owner of Templeton Tonics is the freedom it gives me. The average person has to build their life around what they do for a living, so the ability to do the exact opposite and build what I do for a living around the life I want to live is something I’m incredibly grateful for. In 2020, I was able to step away from the business for nearly a month to hike the Oregon section of the Pacific Crest Trail, backpacking through over 400 miles of gorgeous wilderness. I think back fondly and often on the weeks that I spent on trail; there’s something truly therapeutic about extended periods of backpacking. Most people who decide to spend an extended period of time on trail have to quit their jobs, but I have the luxury of coming back to the business I love afterwards. It really is a major blessing, and I plan to take more advantage of that blessing in the future (more on that in a bit).

Since Templeton Tonics is a one-man operation, all of the responsibility, motivation, and creation that keeps the gears rolling flows from me. I’m frankly pretty terrible at it sometimes, but one thing that recharges my mental engine without fail is taking the time to detach from the common stressors of modern society (e-commerce, social media, emails, geo-politics, economics, supply chain issues, etc.) that stick to the soul over time. Even after just a couple days on trail, there’s a very tangible feeling of relief as all of those petty worries fade away amidst the striking beauty and simplicity of life when surrounded by nothing but wilderness. For me, to be alone and without worry is to be surrounded by trees and mountains. With only the miles under my feet, the water I drink, and a (mostly) flat spot to pitch my tent at night to worry about, the scope of life narrows. I start to appreciate the little things again; to find joy in the scents, sights, and sounds of nature as they play a symphony of sensation for the mind, and without the clanging distractions of life to obscure how truly beautiful the world is that’s all around us. When I return to the routine of life, I always feel refreshed and capable of handling whatever comes my way.

It’s not simply the solitude, though long stretches of that can be very therapeutic; it’s the people. Every year, thousands of people undertake the ambitious/insane task of hiking the 2600+ miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from start to finish. The trail goes from the Mexico border in Campo, California, to the Canada border. The subsection of human being who is wild enough to decide to leave the normalcy and comfort of modern life and embrace the unique blend of pain and pleasure that is experienced on a journey of that magnitude is very different from the kinds of people I tend to run into in the suburbs where I live. Each “thru-hiker” picks up a trail nickname from something that happened to them on trail (Squids, Beekeeper, Wieseldick, The Flying Pig, Thankful, Goodvibes, and Routebeer are some of my favorite trail names I ran into last summer during my 2-day 72 mile trek of the PCT’s section J). They’re full of stories, wisdom, encouragement, and joy; all the things in their mental toolbelt that have helped them cover so many miles already. Thru-hikers are the definition of “a cut above the rest.”

This summer (most likely in August), I’m planning to take a month away from operating Templeton Tonics to finally hike the majority of the Washington State Pacific Crest Trail, from where it crosses the Columbia River at the Oregon-Washington Border to the last paved road it crosses before the Canadian border, Rainy Pass. I’m smiling as I write this just dreaming of how wonderful it’ll be to revisit one of my oldest, dearest friends; the Pacific Crest Trail. I wish I could thank each and every one of you who support Templeton Tonics for making adventures like this possible, and for sticking with me throughout the ups and downs that have come our way over the past 5+ years since I founded Templeton Tonics. I plan to post updates of my journey whenever I have access to the internet, so I hope you’ll follow along!

Do more hard things that you love,

Chris Templeton

Templeton Tonics

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