Katahdin? Be where your feet are.
Seven out of ten people fail to finish a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Completing this trail is a grueling challenge that will test a person up to and beyond their limits. A 70% failure rate speaks to the severe physical and emotional toll the trail will impose. It can be quite the daunting thought, especially when looking too far ahead or fantasizing about that epic Katahdin pose. Reading what others have written about ‘getting to Katahdin’ can be frightening. I mean there are real, serious, hardcore people who can hop from mountain to mountain (in one jump) that have quit or had to get off trail. Whiteblze.net is full of horror stories of why you wont finish. Even the most physically fit can succumb to the tiniest parasite. The trail can be cruel, unkind, unforgiving, relentless, and rude (among other choice words).
Yet the trail can also be so overwhelming beautiful and perfect beyond words. I will see both versions on my hike this year. The whole reason and meaning behind my hike of the AT is… for just a glimpse of those moments that take your words away. Those moments are worth the entire struggle. To me, the trail is about living in the present. Maybe more now than ever, I plan to take heed of the age-old adage ‘be where your feet are’. My plan for reaching Katahdin doesn’t involve Katahdin at all. I’m going to take my thru-hike one day at a time. Each individual day is my goal, nothing else matters. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, why worry about anything other than what is right in front of me? I feel truly lucky to be able to take on this attempt, and I’d be doing myself and everyone who helped make this happen a disservice if I didn’t put my absolute all into this trek. On March 3rd my lifelong dream of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail will become my entire world. When I open up my AWOL Guide on Springer, the only thing that matters is the page I’m standing on. Forget the noise about ‘getting to Katahdin’ – make each day your Katahdin – They add up.
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” – Eckhart Tolle
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