Fat and Bald and I Haven’t Left Amicalola
Today is my 28th birthday, and tomorrow I start the Appalachian Trail. That statement lacks prose and insight, but I want to write the truth and this is my truth.
My brother and I decided to hike the stairs of the Approach Trail today (the 24th) as we are staying in the lodge at Amicalola. I woke up refreshed and ready to tackle the first, albeit short, leg of our hike.
But here’s the thing. I’m a realist. I woke up this morning also knowing that what I’m about to do will be an adventure, yes, but also a living nightmare until I get my trail legs. You see, today was really a litmus test of my capabilities and limitations.
Since November, I’ve gained 50 lbs. I’m not sure why (and no, it’s not a pregnancy and yes if things get worse I’ll see a doctor). I think my new medications are mostly to blame, as well as not being as strict with my plan, but the point is somehow I’ve gone the opposite direction of becoming trail ready. It’s gonna be hard out there for me, the hardest, scariest thing I’ve ever done. But I can do it and come into my own.
I’m not gonna throw a pity party, but I will be real with myself. I will be tough on myself, and push myself. But I will also be kind to myself and listen to my body, even if it’s not the “right” one for the trail right now. And I’m not going to let my psyche get to me in these first few weeks.
Climbing the stairs was so difficult and I wasn’t even wearing a pack. How much muscle had I lost since my shakedown in November? But I also told myself that I would make it through. As my other brother said, think of the upcoming weeks as Doubles (he was a football player). If you make it through those, then you have no reason to quit. That’ll be my mantra for the next few months.
My other point of contention was with my hair. As mentioned in a couple previous posts I have trichotillomania, or compulsive hair pulling (so if you don’t like hearing about mental illness, tough shit, it’s 2015 and we need to stop pretending these things don’t exist or matter). Anyway, I was so anxious for the trail that I spent 2 hours pulling my hard earned hair.
I know a majority of you may be wondering “what’s your point?”. It’s simply this: I want to look back on today and see where I began, and how far I’ve come. I’ve came so close to giving up on everything before and I vowed never to give up on myself again. I’m going to pour my heart and soul into doing what I love and making this hike a great adventure. And even though now I may not have the perfect body, the best head of hair, or the most unbroken brain, I WILL challenge myself each and every day. At the end of the day and the end of the trail, if I do my best, I’ll know once and for all I’m stronger and better than I was before.
I can definitely do this. Next time you hear from me I’ll be several miles in and ready for anything.
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