Getting My Head into the Game
Okay…if you’re reading all the wonderful posts on the Appalachian Trials website, you’ve gotten some idea of what it takes to prepare yourself for the physical aspects of a multi-day hike on the A.T. Although honestly, I don’t think you can truly understand the challenges your body will face until you’re actually out there on the trail. But please….pay attention to what each author has to say about the day-to-day struggles so at least none of it will come as a big surprise to you!
Before I attempted my first 4 day section hike on the A.T., I’d already read so many great stories written by several thru hikers. Then one day I came across a tale of a different kind:
I zipped through Zach’s book in no time and have read parts of it several times since but it’s only been recently (I’ve often wondered if I should really try a thru hike…I go through this thought process fairly often, by the way ) that I’ve decided it’s time to give some serious thought to the questions he presents. So, once again, I opened up the book and started from the beginning, making my lists. Deciding to try a thru hike could be backed by some pretty personal reasons so I thought I’d offer a glimpse into some of mine.
I AM THRU HIKING THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL BECAUSE:
- I have a lot of grief and loss that I need to work through.
- I have lost myself within that grief and loss.
- I’ve never really known what my path in life is…so it might as well be dirt for a few months.
- I have the tendency to doubt my abilities and second-guess myself and want to learn without a doubt just what I’m capable of doing.
- I’d be one bad-ass chick when I got home (cause not just anyone can walk 2189 miles uphill both ways!)
Being a seasoned section hiker and judging from what little I’ve seen up to this point, those awe-inspiring moments when you finally reach the top and can see for miles make “embracing the suck” (aka being tired, wet, cold and hungry all at the same time) worth it! I’ve said before that nothing I experience in my day-to-day life compares to, or gives me, the sense of accomplishment (and yes, that “I’m a bit of a bad-ass chick” feeling I mentioned above) than arriving at my destination, wrapping up one of my section hikes.
Whenever I hear the quote, “The mountains are calling and I must go,” by John Muir, I also hear this little voice that keeps pushing me to give it a try. I suppose only time will tell and until my epiphany arrives (if it ever does), I’ll keep on heading North one section at a time, with my Trail Snails (as we like to call ourselves thanks to our slow pace) motto on replay in my head: Georgia to Maine, one step at a time!
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