I Lost My Mojo, but I’m not Quitting

It happened on the ascent of Mount Cube. Mount Cube certainly wasn’t among the highest peaks I would climb at 2,900 feet, but it was where I had had enough. Enough of the burning thighs, hard rocks, painful footsteps, lack of blazes or cairns to show the way, separation from my family and loved ones.

What were once challenges were now hassles, the ascents became dreaded, and the miles that once flowed so easily now seemed endless. This was not a good state of mind to be in with arguably the toughest section of the AT, the White Mountains, coming up, but there it was and there it would stay.

I guess getting through nearly four months on the trail before this hit me was something to be happy about. Still, the hiking became arduous and the journey less rewarding.

However, quitting the trail never entered my mind. The steep hills of Georgia, the cold of the Smokies in March, the rocks of Pennsylvania, the painful shin splints and back spasms hadn’t caused me to quit and neither would this.

While my other challenges had been physical, or related to the weather, this was a mental obstacle. I couldn’t understand my lack of drive considering that physically I had never felt better on the trail.

I had read that completing an AT thru-hike was as much a mental challenge as a physical one and this fact was now being driven home to me.

I’m hoping that the prospect of easier terrain after the Whites and the thought of summiting Katahdin will see me through this. Not much farther to go.

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Comments 5

  • Capt. Norm : Jul 24th

    Thanks for the share ‘Statbucks’! Don’t give up the good fight and keep on keeping on! You got this!
    Capt. Norm

  • Brewerbob : Jul 24th

    I have NOT been following you but I’ve followed many others. Sounds like a few zeros are needed.

  • Joe Thomas : Jul 24th

    Let’s have coffee when you get back. I’m a 60 year old backpacker in Naperville with grown kids. I’m soloing Yellowstone in Sept…Hang in there and good luck.

    • Rob Small : Aug 6th

      Hey Joe, backpacking Yellowstone is definitely on my bucket list, would love to hear about your preparations and the trip!

  • Vincent H. Piquet : Jul 25th

    Never surrender. Never quit. HYOH. Fair winds and following seas.
    Vince aka The Dude, SOBO, 17’/’18


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