Is It My Turn Yet? Strategies for Waiting
I’m Ready. I’m SO READY.
I don’t think I could possibly be ready-er, readier, more ready.
Actually, that’s only half true
I’m most certainly ready mentally and emotionally. I’ve been preparing for this journey for the last eight years! In 2016 my husband died. I moved from suburban Connecticut ‘back home’ to rural Pennsylvania to have the support of my family. I decided that once my kids were out of the house, I would take a pause from the world as I know it and step into the next chapter of my life by hiking 2,200 miles. My youngest left for college in August and I’m ready.
Since my personality houses a big dose of spontaneity and very little patience – well…
… it’s good thing logic and reason are also some of my strengths. My body is physically ready but my resupply boxes are still mostly empty. I have the following list of to-dos circling on repeat in my mind:
- replace my hammock (slightly important)
- purchase 7 pounds of almond M&Ms (arguably not so important)
- order more Rise Bars, Epic Bars, Picky Bars and Thunderbird Bars (fingers crossed for some good Black Friday deals)
- upgrade charging block and portable charger
- schedule all the doctor/dentist check ups
- finalize finances
- send daily prayers to the gods that my car survives until trail time
Oh, almost forgot- I need to choose a start date. Although I am aiming for early March, I have yet to set an exact date. Luckily for me, I have wonderful family members that will be driving me from PA to GA so no need to worry about flights or lodging.
With a small to-do list and desire to “just do it”, I’m keeping myself busy putting miles on my feet with my pack. My gear is ‘on the ready’ in the corner of the room and I’ve been using a full 2L CNOC bag to add some additional weight (great idea from another hiker – allows you to dump out some water to reduce weight if you get tired).
I’ve been averaging about 1,000-1,500 miles a year on foot the last several years with a combination of day hikes and backpacking trips. I’ve had a few big adventures from the east to the west including trips to Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. I visited Hawaii, The Tetons, The Whites, Adirondacks, and Acadia. I completed the Mt. LeConte Vertical Mile Challenge and attempted the A100 (100 miles on the North Country Trail – I stopped at 75 miles).
My most awesome adventures were summiting Mount Saint Helens and hiking with my kids through a crater in Hawaii. When I finish the AT I’ll be off to Bali to lead a hiking and yoga retreat. As I write all of this, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all the opportunities I have been given.
Strategies for Waiting
Since I can only hike so much, I have created plenty of other activities to keep me busy. As a self proclaimed education junkie, I’ve been immersing myself in many areas of interest. I’ve completed several trainings to add new modalities to my service offerings. I studied MindBody Therapy online during the COVID shutdown and recently completed an intensive meditation training. I’m currently studying Thai Bodywork and will be offering this service next fall once I ‘settle’ – whatever that means.
I have a personal daily yoga practice that includes meditation, journaling and movement. I’m an avid reader and often have 2-3 books going at once. I’m inspired by others and post positive quotes and snip-its on social media. I have a daily gratitude practice I also share. One of my recent inspirations is from Ram Dass:
“It’s very far out when you begin not to think. Or the thinking’s going by and you’re not identified with being the thinker. You really think you’ve lost something. It’s a while before you can appreciate the peace that comes from the simplicity of no-mind, of just emptiness, of just not having to be somebody all the time.”
~ Ram Dass
I also LOVE to create in the kitchen, I’m a bit of a foodie but not much of a recipe follower. When creating trail food or pre/post hike meals I use the hashtag #whenhealthgoeshiking. I foresee one of my biggest challenges on trail is maintaining a balance of nutrition and a bit of indulgence.
I’m also slightly obsessed with AT thru-hike YouTube channels and have been playing around with one of my own. Now that my blog is up and running I’ll be posting here too. I want to share my story. I don’t know what that story will be, but I do know that it’s through our stories that we evolve and grow as a community. The Trek platform will allow me to connect with others beyond my day-to-day reach. It’s exciting to think I could inspire and entertain people I will never have the opportunity to meet. And maybe I’ll be of service in ways that would be impossible otherwise.
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