High School Musical, Phone a Friend, the Trail Will Provide

So here’s the thing. Hundreds of people decide to make the 2,192.2-mile trek from Georgia to Maine every summer, but only a quarter of those who set out actually make it.

There are many reasons why hikers quit. The physical exertion is a lot for the body to handle. Sometimes injuries happen that force hikers off the trail. It’s easy to run out of money. Also, life happens, and things consistently change that are out of our control.

The number one reason why people quit the trail is the mental game.

Hiking is hard, but over time your body gets used to the challenge. Once your body adjusts, it’s just you and your thoughts in the woods and that can be daunting.

This past week has been my hardest on trail. I’m drained and feel as though my body is betraying me. I’m tired all the time, can barely make the miles, and cry more often than I would like to admit. Quitting the trail is an option. It is something I think about daily, but it is not what I want. And I know it will not happen because of my dope trail fam.

At this point, without my tramily, I am pretty sure I would be off the trail. They have loaned me tremendous support this last week. Keeping me warm, offering to carry me when I’ve felt I couldn’t make it, making me laugh so hard I pee myself, and refusing to let me fall behind. They reassure me that this is where I am meant to be.

Sometimes I hike with members of the tram and when doing so we have good conversation; we talk about why we are here.

Some people come to the woods with specific goals in mind, and some just like to walk. I’ve come to find that my reasoning for doing the trail continues to manifest as I go.

I recognize that my big challenges to overcome while being out here are admitting when I need help, accepting the help, and not beating myself up about doing so.

It’s OK to admit that you are struggling because fellow hikers probably are too. We’re out here for different reasons, but we all just want to get to Maine.

Because we all have that same goal, we’ve got to support one another along the way.

My week has been outright bad, but I know that things will get better. And when they do, I’ll be ready to give back everything my tramily has given me because, just like they say in High School Musical, we really are all in this together.

Before I sign off on this post, I’d like to give a shout-out to those that are not physically on the trail, but still support me along the way. To my friends, family, and complete strangers that reach out via social media, your kindness does not go unnoticed. I am so incredibly thankful for everyone that continues to cheer me on as I go north. I know there are many hard days ahead of me, but I have a large support group behind me, and that makes every day of the trek worth it. Catch ya later!

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