I cannot walk… you read that right. I am writing my first post from my wheelchair.
But do not worry; as my friends will back me up, when I set my mind to something, I never give up. They will also say I sometimes wander off, but I always come back with amazing stories. About three months ago I was riding my bicycle when, bam, a semi truck decided to take me out. After my dance with death, I realized I almost missed my chance to thru-hike the AT, a dream of mine since middle school.
I just have to relearn to walk first. My journey starts today when I take my first step. If all goes well I will be able to walk in the woods by March, my NOBO starting goal. If recovery is delayed or I need more time to build up my strength, I have a plan B starting in Harpers Ferry to complete a flip-flop. Worst case scenario is a SOBO thru-hike starting no later than June.
In the meantime, while I plan each of the three hiking options above, I thought taking a short break to share a little about myself, you know, get to know each other a little bit would be fun.
Who am I? Still to be determined. I was once a career-driven finance geek, then I became an ultra-endurance athlete to get in shape for the AT, then between summits I became a history teacher and life coach for my students.
Who is my favorite super hero? Batman. I named my dog after his butler, Alfred.
Why the AT? I have run the AT section through Shenandoah National Park twice, both directions. Between there and the Smokies I have not experienced more beauty, other than looking up at Denali when hiking in Alaska. It is time to finally go explore my backyard in its entirety.
Do I prefer beach or mountains? Duh, mountains. However, a long trail hike along the Atlantic coast would be awesome.
Do I think I am ready for the AT? Mentally, yes. Gear wise, almost. Physically, working on it.
Favorite baked good? Cinnamon buns.
Which brownie do I grab first? The corners, I love where all the sugar accumulates. I cannot express how excited I am for the food on the AT. Snacks on the trail and huge meals.
If I could carry one thing the full length of the AT, what would it be? My Canon EOS-DSLR, but to save weight I am only taking my camera-phone. At this point, I only have the necessities in my pack. I will definitely attach my dog Alfred’s tags to my pack.
What are my expectations of the AT? Lots of hikers and lots of GoPros. When I planned a thru-hike that never came to fruition after college, thru-hike attempts were in the hundreds, now it is in the thousands. During my world travels, when I have put down my devices and struck up conversations with people around me, I learned so much more about the cultures I was visiting.
Favorite movie, book, and sports team? Crimson Tide, Lord of the Rings, Capitals. Easy.
Song pick for karaoke? Boston’s More Than A Feeling. The song to get me dancing: Jon Bon Jovi’s Livin’ On A Prayer.
Bottom line, looking for an adventure and to hang out with some new friends.
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