This soul was made for walkin – and that’s just what I’ll do.
Time to answer that question asked by so many when they hear of my plan to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail…”why?”.
- First, and most importantly, I LOVE BACKPACKING! I simply love waking up in my hammock and knowing I get to hike today. I love the anticipation of who I will meet, what I will see, and how exhausted I will be at the end of the day. I love feeling that level of physical exhaustion that tells me “I lived today!”
- I want to work on becoming a more patient, more accepting and more spiritual person. These are all areas where the “needs improvement” box on my adult report card would be checked.
- At 50 years old, I am looking forward to being in the best shape of my life. I’ve always enjoyed physical activity and working to stay in shape. I was proud to run my first marathon at 47. But this? This is a whole other level of fitness.
- I am actually going to see all those trail landmarks that I have read so much about! And, I hope to know firsthand what it feels like to come around that last corner, after thousands of corners before, and see Mt Katahdin.
- I look forward to being a part of the hiker community and feeling like I really earned it.
- Make no mistake about it, this hike will be cleansing. It’s about stripping off the bad that has been accumulating for the last 20 years and replacing it with more of the good. Again, I’ll quote Springsteen:
“Well my soul checked out missing as I sat listening
To the hours and minutes tickin’ away
Yeah just sittin’ around waitin’ for my life to begin
While it was all just slippin’ away
I’m tired of waitin’ for tomorrow to come
Or that train to come roarin’ round the bend
I got a new suit of clothes a pretty red rose
And a woman I can call my friend
These are better days baby
These are better days it’s true
These are better days
Better days are shining through”
- Finally, I want that look…you know that look, when you see someone with that beard and that worn look that one only gets from living outside. You’ve seen them – and when you do you just know – that dude walked all the way from Georgia. I want to be him. I want to be the dude that walked all the way from Georgia.
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