How Many Numbers Are You Juggling?
Planning for any long trail thru hike requires some forethought for most individuals. For me, it comes down to the numbers and how best to maximize them for success on the trail. Here are a few numbers I am tracking.
33 / 78 / 94 days
These are the three numbers that go through my head every day I wake up. The numbers represent the number of workdays left, calendar days at work left, and days until I start on the Appalachian Trail. For some of us, the start of the trail has been a long time coming. Even though I still can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel at work, it’s starting to get surreal. I feel today the same way I did 1 year ago when I started planning this trip. It’s tough for me to see where I will be in three months….retired and on the trail. However, I think that is due to the fact I have never been without a job. I am looking forward to the day when I can wake up and only worry about putting one foot in front of the other and not be constantly checking my email or worrying about the next phone call from work that could come in at any hour of the day.
17.5 / 15.1 pounds / $ ????.??
These numbers represent my winter and summer base weights as well as the cost associated with the equipment. Every day I feel like Santa Claus checking my list twice. As I am sure most of you are doing, I am constantly trying to balance comfort, keeping my weight down, and how much is this going to cost me. Last year (pre-covid), everyone was posting their three luxury items on youtube. I don’t believe in luxury items. Getting from GA to ME takes as much physical strength as it does mental strength. If you feel that you need an item to help you get to Katahdin, then it really isn’t a luxury item. It is an item that helps you (or me, in this case) mentally get to the finish.
250 / 200 / 180 pounds
These numbers represent body weight where I am currently, my goal weight post trail, and where I would LOVE to be after the trail. Over the past few years, I have been prioritizing work over health. It is not a good thing. Working long days has been hard on the mind, body, and soul. These need to come into alignment to help a person feel good about themselves and truly be healthy. While I am not body shaming anyone for their body weight, these numbers are based on BMI measurements of what is considered “healthy” by U.S. CDC Standards. I hope the trail can help kick start my health regiment again and allow me to continue enjoying being outside and exercising post trail. I want to live a long life, and it’s time to start prioritizing my health. With this in mind, I’ll be trying to do my best to track food consumption on the trail to meet these goals.
CDC Information on BMI: Body Mass Index (BMI) | Healthy Weight, Nutrition, and Physical Activity | CDC
What numbers are you tracking? Are numbers important to you? Best of luck to everyone in their preparations. I’ll be on the trail in mid-March 2021. Follow me over on Instagram for picture updates (@chrisuscga01).
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