Me Versus Myself

When I wrote my list containing my reasons for hiking the Appalachian Trail, I surprised myself with one of my answers. I was in the zone writing how I would feel if I didn’t make it to Katahdin and I wrote “I will know my body defeated my mind and my spirit.

I see this journey as a battle of me against myself. I like doing stuff that scares me. I like to challenge myself. But this journey will be a different type of battle.

Cat Turquoise Lake
Latest training hike location: Turquoise Lake, Leadville, CO;  ~9,000+ feet elevation, 16.3 miles

There will undoubtedly be times when my body tells me to stop walking. I have no doubts my body will be my first adversary. “My knees ache; My back hurts; My body is bruised.” My mind will probably handle this first act of self-rebellion. I will tell myself to keep going and mentally challenge myself to wake up another day and walk. Until, most likely, my mind also betrays me. And I might not think I can do this. Now it is between mind and body versus heart, will, soul. I will have to inherently know I can finish. I will have to check in to the depths of my will that will push me past my physical and mental limits. I will need my spirit to outlast my legs. I am excited to know that my spirit and willful determination can beat what my tired body and temporarily weakened mind may tell me. When I make it to Katahdin, I will know that the Spirit within me is what makes me strong — That this spirit can not only defeat my circumstances but also my weakening body and mind after weeks on the trail.

Cat Scout1
The view from my tent – Turquoise Lake

I began thinking about this me versus myself concept more today while training on performance gear for work at REI. I think it also continues in respect to time. I will not feel like walking some days. Maybe most days. Current me will tell me to stop. But future me knows the disappoint and heartbreak in failing to summit Katahdin. I think this will involve the decision of what I want now versus what I ultimately want later. This seems like a simple concept but we are in the age of instant gratification. People often discard a large goal in exchange for something smaller that they can have now. In psychology, we studied this with money and impulse control. “Do you want $20 now or $100 in 4 weeks?” Most people agree to take the lesser deal in order to satisfy their “now-self” and are unwilling to wait to ultimately serve their “future-self” better.

Well, I want the Benjamins. I want Katahdin.


Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 3

  • 25things : Sep 28th

    Hey Cat! I’ve recently been realizing the struggle between the mind/body and heart/soul, and your post really resonated with me. I am determined, though, to defeat the physical with the heart and (dare I say) spiritual reasons for completing this hike. I am so excited that you and your friend have decided to embark on this journey, and I wish you all the best! If we have the fortune to meet on the trail, I am sure that I will have encountered a kindred spirit. All the best as you prepare for your epic journey!

    • Cat : Oct 27th

      Thank you so much for your comment! That is so encouraging! I am excited to learn of the power of our spirit and hope to see you on the trail!

  • Kc Mcginis : Oct 30th



What Do You Think?