Many of you have asked on numerous occasions, “Who is the PD?” I’ve decided to dedicate this blog post just to him. Some of it might be true. Or not.
The PD is just a man. I have to keep reminding myself of this.
He came to the United States in the mid 70’s from a war-torn country. He crawled to his freedom through the jungle, armed with only a toothbrush. Fighting pirates and the bad personal hygiene of others along the way, he made it to our shores, in search of adventure and whatever would come his way.
He was a rebellious child, breaking the windows of his family home. His spirit of adventure caused him to be misunderstood by many people, including his parents, who sent him to a monastery in the hope of reconciling what they deemed as “unholy” behavior.
After three short years, the Abbot had had enough of his decidedly un-monk-like shenanigans and asked the PD pointedly to search for meaning in the secular arena.
From there, the PD wandered the land, until he came to rest at the bottom left of our continent. From there, he started a career in the biotech industry and was soon a Project Manager. Very influential in his field, he became known by his peers as the PM, but they really meant “Puppet Master.”
Fully ensconced in the San Diego environment, he became active in running, cycling, mountain biking, hiking, scuba diving, and kayak fishing. He conquered everything that was presented to him, including marathons and triathlons.
As his delegation skills grew astronomically, he eventually became a Project (or Puppet, some would say) Director. He was known throughout his world as the PD.
I will never forget the day we met. He was doing his third lap up to Villager Peak, a round trip of 13 miles. He was just getting warmed up when he stopped to see if I was OK. I was bent over, trying to catch my breath and determining if I was going to be able to remove the 2” cactus spine from my thigh.
He offered me the use of his needle-nosed pliers and a sip from his bottle of brandy, both of which he carries on longer trail runs. He let me know that the peak was just up ahead and that he would carry me up there if I need him to. I respectfully declined and then told him of my quest to hike 100 peaks in San Diego.
The PD asked, “Why only 100? Why not climb all of them? I’ve been to all of them a couple of times and most of them are quite accessible to most people.”
I said I would take that into consideration and told him to visit my website and that we should hike together some day. We parted ways and I staggered up the rocky “trail” that leads to Villager Peak. He gave me a concerned look and bounded downwards towards the trailhead.
30 minutes later, as I was starting my way down, he arrived at the peak again barely winded. I asked him if he turned around the way down and he said, no, he was just completing another loop during his run. He started running back down the trail, dropping out of sight.
We connected online after that, going on many hikes together. He’s been a great hiking companion and good to have along. He’s only carried me twice.
OK, three times.