Appalachian Trail Fear

Facing the Unknown

Face it, we all have fears.  I assume the AT will bless me with terrain that is driven with rocks, roots, snakes, and bugs.  Early March, I will be lacing my slightly broken-in hiking shoes, adjusting my backpack, and leaving behind my familiar world.  For me, that world consists of family, friends, comfy couches, hot showers, and work.  I think to myself, “Wait,  no hot bath? No comfy couch?” Maybe it’s my comfort and fear that makes the Trail so enticing.  Maybe it’s time!

Lyme taught me that every day that I can walk is a good day!

Life After Lyme Disease

Firstly, my fear began in my thirties and I remember it like yesterday.  Gut retching fear grabbed my entire mind and I didn’t know what life was throwing at me.   The unknown has a way of doing that!  Let me explain.

In 2003 I had been experiencing strange symptoms; pseudo-seizures, severe weakness, chronic memory loss, and chronic fatigue. I went from being an outdoor enthusiast to a person that needed care 24/7.  That, I can say, created fear!  My days consisted of mandatory rest, IV drips of antibiotics, ER visits, and oral antibiotics.  The treatments ended three to four years later.  By the grace of God, I can say there is life after Lyme.

It Is Always On My Mind

I’m not afraid of the wilderness, but I do have a level of respect for it.  The critters call this place home, and soon I will too.    This trail will show me much beauty yet throw constant curveballs.  That is what nature does!  I can’t control it, I can’t change it, therefore, I’ll have to go thru it. Appalachian Trail fear;  it could come from a slip or a fall, a wrong turn, a thunderstorm, or an unexpected encounter with a furry critter. I’m not saying that these feelings only happen on the Appalachian Trail, but currently, my mind is consumed by these thoughts. I believe no matter where I am, I  can choose to be swallowed  by ” fear” or “face it!”

Take a “Hike,” Fear, You No Longer Belong Here!

Life after Lyme…summit with my daughter.

Well guess what?  I am going to face it! My fear comes from the smallest of small,  one that I can hardly see with my naked eye.  It  doesn’t have furious teeth, or a scary growl, it’s that little tiny “tick.”  I ask myself,  “How can something so small have such an impact on my fear factor?” I will be hiking 2200 miles with these bloodsucking insects.  I could stress every step of the way but I’ve come to realize with much prayer that  “Fear is a liar.”   With that said,  I  choose to tie my boots, adjust my pack and walk in peace.   Whether in solitude or togetherness, laughter or tears, I am so excited to conquer this fear one step at a time.  I’ll leave home with my new personal acronym,  protection prayers from pesky parasites (PPPP).

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  Isaiah 41:10

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Comments 1

  • Karen Reynolds : Mar 10th

    Traci, Friend, “Rhoda”—
    You and your faith and determination inspire many of us on many levels.
    Your will, I am confident, will be submitted to His will, to carry you and guide your every step. He knows how to lead, you need to adjust to His pace. Enjoy ( or tolerate) this journey that few would ever contemplate… You are not leaving us behind, rather you are taking each of us with you. As you have time on the trail to think and contemplate the wonderment of life and His blessings, we are taking the time to pray for God’s protection, continual provision and ever present inspiration upon your life.
    Step by step, Laughing Loon!
    Sending much love for you to pack and unpack.

    Hazel Nut


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