Will I EVER be Ready?
I hope I am ready, but I don’t think I’ll ever really know. I want to be like SpongeBob and know just how ready I am but there is always some doubt but that’s what makes it a challenge, to overcome. So I figured its about time to start writing.. Since this is my first post I’ll give you a little background about my self and some heads up to how I anticipate my future post to look and feel like. Waiting till the last minute seems to be how I do like 90% of everything in my life (a habit I’m trying to break) it seems fitting that I have waited dangerously close to my departure date to complete some necessary prerequisites for the trail. Among which are mail drops and the submitting of my posts which I plan to have done proxy via my parents, mailing them handwritten letters so they can post on my behalf since internet connection will be unpredictable and electronic battery life with will be valuable. This trip means so much to me, I left my friends behind in Oxford to move home and work and try to save money. Left an apartment which I an still paying for, so I’m not sure how I’m saving money there but right now this hike comes first and here is why:
In Oxford attending the University of Mississippi I had fallen into a rut, a pattern of apathy really, not doing school work, not working, not working out, very little activity, smoking entirely too much. I had become a sloth in nearly all aspects of my live, letting the world around me push me in any direction the wind seemed to be blowing until I signed up for a hiking trip with out outdoors program. I have spent many days and nights in the woods, over a hundred nights camping in my scouting career and a few more with friends so I am comfortable in the woods so when I noticed this hiking trip offered by Ole Miss OutDoors (OMOD) I knew I had to go on it and did. The trip was spectacular we hiked two days in Amicola Falls State Park, on the approach trail to the AT and possibly even a small time on the AT itself. This trip was the trigger for me I was hooked, for a few reasons, firstly the sheer beauty of the area, it was breath taking, it was mid November and winter was coming fast. It was terribly cold at night and not much better during the day but the hike was the best time I had in quite a while. Our group was a jumble of people, two Brazilians, two Germans, a Korean, a few regular Mississippian students and a grad student, La Mariposa. A successful NOBO thru-hiker, and writer for this very site she shared a great insight with me about the trail and all it did and probably still does for her. Mariposa, still adjusting to life after her thru-hike earlier in the year was a wealth of information and a marvelous ambassador for the trail if I had to blame one person beside myself for wanting to take on this crazy goal it would be her, she definitely planted a seed in my mind. Another aspect from this trip I enjoyed was walking, the simplistic monotony of it, I loved it. It could be fair to say that I got Springer Fever, as a friend of mine called it, because in such a short time I became totally enamored with the idea to embark on a NOBO journey.
It took about two weeks for me to start taking action to achieve this goal, I withdrew from school, and started applying to jobs nearly everywhere i could think of. I came home for Christmas break and learned i had landed a job at local pizza place, I figured this had to be the better alternative to bumming out on my sisters couch and washing dishes at restaurant in Cleveland, Ms. I figured working back home and staying with my parents I would be able to save money much easier and would at least have my own bed to sleep in. Everything seems to have normalized for the time being, but as each day passes I grow more and more anxious to be on the trail. I would say my biggest fear of the trail would be money, not that it is part of the literal trail but it directly influences how far I may be able to go if I have limited funds for resupplying along my trip. This trip has become a major undertaking for me (not all too surprising) because I want to prove to myself that if I set my mind to a task truly and completely commit to something I have the perseverance to see it through. I want to be happy with myself knowing that I can give all I’ve got and come out on top, that being said I am aware of the stats and know how well I am likely to fail, but if I do fail I hope it is after I have given my all to the trail and to myself in the attempt to reach Katahdin.
So in regards to future posts, ill try not to ramble, or if I do ramble I will attempt to give the rambles some flow and since of direction. I will attempt to stat out of my head, talk more about the trail, and discuss each day as realistically and accurately as they happen. I must also admit I have no presumptions about my writing abilities, I know that there are aspects of my writing that less than perfect and there is much to be desired upon but lets face it if you are reading this you probably aren’t looking for the most eloquent writing the world has ever been graced with but a realistic view of the world and the Appalachian trail from the eyes of a young man looking for himself and some since of meaning out in the woods of America. Until the next time
I hope I’ll be ready when my feet hit the trail
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