Why I’m Hiking Lists

It is insisted that aspiring thru-hikers undergo a certain amount of mental exercises to help prepare themselves for the trail.  In order to brace myself for those miserable days when I forget why on earth I decided to attempt to hike 2,189 miles from Georgia to Maine, I am compiling my three lists to help remind me.

And now that they are published for the whole world to see there is no going back.

#1 I am hiking the Appalachian Trail because…

–If not now, when?

–I want to learn how to live simply.

–In today’s world everything is fast paced, and I think I will benefit from learning how to slow down and enjoy this life that I have been given.

–To challenge myself mentally and physically.

— For so long I’ve been reading stories in books of other people’s adventures and I think it’s ahout time I have my own.

–For so long I’ve felt trapped following societal rules and expectations, to please others by completing the path that you are “supposed to do” simply because it is what everyone does.

–I will get soOoOoOo many steps on my Fitbit.

–I want to see wild ponies (among other amazing wild life).

–Becoming exposed to such a raw and natural environment will help me learn more about myself, and who I want to be.

–Hiking the AT will force me to become comfortable with the unknown and things I cannot change.

–It will be a great story to tell.

#2 When I successfully thru-hike the Appalachian Trail I will…

–Be extremely proud of myself.

–Have more confidence in myself and my abilities.

–Hug my dog.

–Have millions of memories that will last a lifetime.

–Have a more appreciative understanding for things taken for granted on a daily basis.

–Be more comfortable with the unknown and things I cannot change.

–Be a BA who my family will brag about.

–Proved all of the haters wrong.

–Probably cry a lot.

–Have a better understanding of myself and my priorities.

–Have accomplished an amazing challenge.

#3 If I give up on the Appalachian Trail I will…

–Never live it down.

–Disappoint myself and a lot of people rooting me on.

–Probably cry a lot.

–Proved all of the haters right.

–Doubt myself and my abilities.

–Be filled with regret for the rest of my life.

–Have to hear about how I wasted time when I could be advancing my career.

–Wear the cone of shame (you know, like Doug from the movie “UP”) for the rest of my life.

I am not being dramatic

I truly hope knowing that these looming accusations that are hanging over my head like a guillotine will allow me to push myself further and harder. I have fully invested myself, my time, and my money into this journey of a lifetime. However, I am not oblivious to the fact that merely one out of four thru-hikers completes the trail or that the percentage of a successful thru-hike is less than 30 percent. That is why, no matter how far I get, this time will not be considered a waste to me. I attempted to fulfill my dream, I will work my ass off to get as far as I can, and I will not be ashamed of that.

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Comments 9

  • Dante : Mar 11th

    Hi Miss Manning, how are you ? How’s your hiking trip going ? The whole class misses you. We wish you could stay the teacher.

  • Michele : Mar 12th

    Good morning Bryana! Good luck on your adventure of a lifetime! I look forward to following your daily exploits on the trail and living vicariously through you! Be safe out there and savor every minute of your hike! Hugs!

  • Dante : Mar 12th

    Good luck on the adventure of your lifetime

  • Dante : Mar 13th

    Hi Miss Manning, how are you? How’s your adventure? How far are you ? There’s a mean sub in the class. She’s very rude and disrespectful to everyone.

  • Mom (Brenda) : Mar 13th

    Have a great time Bryana. I can’t even explain how I felt leaving you and Jared at the top of the falls on Sunday in the cold and rain. Such mixed feelings, but you did your research and tried to prepare yourself. My God and the trail angels be forever in your favorite. My last vision of you walking up to the trail and then Dad and I heading back down the side of the falls was alittle blurred by my tears. Love you, stay safe

  • Terri : Mar 14th

    Hi Bryana,
    A few days into your adventure now. I’m hoping the weather is good and your into a routine. Stay safe and take a lot of pictures. Hugs and kisses, love you.

  • Greg Manning : Mar 14th

    I must say Bryana, when you first mentioned this adventure to me a year ago, My feelings & thoughts about it were not very positive. Thinking your avoiding your responsibility’s prolonging the start of your career, basically growing up. Much time has passed since then, my view has changed I watched you invest a lot of your time, money and hard work, into this adventure, and seeing it thru to make it happen. Reading you’re blog I understand where you’re coming from. I believe we all learn from chances we take, good & bad. And I think your head is in the right spot. Please enjoy your Adventure. Be safe, make lots of friends, learn a lot about your self & your surroundings. God bless I’m always here for you. Thru hike or not. Love Dad

  • Nina : Mar 15th

    Waiting on updates! Hope all is well and the weather is being kind while you develop your mountain legs. Love you- Nina

  • Terri : Mar 24th

    Hi Bryana,

    I been thinking about you often and hoping that the trail and Mother Nature are being kind to you. Lots of love, Aunt Terri


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