15 days out
In less than two weeks, I’ll be leaving for the trail. I’ll start hiking it in just over two weeks. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited or nervous about any endeavor I’ve ever undertaken.
I thought that at this point, all I’d want to talk about is the trail and gear. I do love to talk about the trail, but for whatever reason(probably the hours upon hours of gear research and discussion), the thought of discussing my gear choices one more time makes me want to scream. I’ll make sure to do a post about what I’m carrying soon, but not right now; sorry gear junkies!
I do feel like talking about my nerves though. Or my current lack of them. I’ve been waiting for this point for such a long time that now that it has arrived, I don’t know what to do. There’s so much I need to do just for the trail that I’m finding it hard to focus on non-trail life necessities (I.e, getting ready to move the day before leaving for Maine and studying for the G.R.E). I feel completely overwhelmed and entirely too excited 24/7.
The stress and excitement has decided to take it’s toll on me through my diet. I have no appetite, am always nauseous, and all the weight I’ve been working on gaining has been dropping faster than I put it on. Which, let’s not lie, would be great in real life! Unfortunately, I’m not preparing for real life, I’m preparing for trail life. And in trail life, I need those pounds. So here’s hoping that I’ll get my appetite back soon. If not, I guess there’s always hiker hunger to look forward to!
The sleepless and bizarre dream filled nights have also started. My favorite recurring dream so far is realizing once I’ve gotten to Katahdin, the only thing I’ve remembered to bring is my pack and sleeping bag. No clothes, no dog, no food, just me butt-ass naked on top of a mountain with half of a sleep system. I wake up after this dream and am unable to go back to sleep because I have to run through my gear list and make sure I know where everything is (maybe this is why I’m sick of gear..).
Other nights, I just make the mistake of watching previous thru-hikers videos ( this is my favorite). I get so excited, I just lay in bed, not sleeping, thinking about the hike. It’s nights like this I wish I had a hiking partner so I could call them, “wake them up”, and talk about our upcoming hike. Solomon is a great hiking companion, probably the best, but he can’t discuss pre-trail jitters with me.
I also find myself going out more than I used to. It’s like I need to absorb as much of pre-trail Starkville as I can. I know it will feel like a different town when I get back, and that’s a scary thought. I’m back to exploring campus at night, watching others drunken adventures through the district, and having my own. It’s been nice, but hasn’t relieved any of the stress.
Through all of this, I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time. I feel more alive and in touch with myself than I can ever remember feeling. It’s an interesting conundrum to take control of your life. It’s terrifying, because if you [email protected]$* it up, it’s all on you. But at the same time, it’s finally YOUR life. You’re no longer basing your actions on what will make others happiest with you, proud of you, etc. You’re living for you, and only you. It’s such an incredible feeling, it brings me to tears. It’s more than worth the nausea and insomnia.
So, is this normal pre-trail behavior, or am I losing it? Feel free to let me know 🙂
Also, this was done on my phone so I could figure out how the app works…hopefully it works well!
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Nice post! I feel the same, I’ve got a couple more days of waiting to start then you, but yea, definitely feel some of the same sentiments.