Miss Flights Not Faith
There is no one size fits all approach to training
Dealing with the mental when the physical is not going your way. The AT is the only two letter acronym I allowed myself to think about; PT was not in the plan. While strength training to make sure my body was up to the tall task of long distance backpacking, I suffered an overuse injury while barbell back squatting. Normally I would ignore the issue, waiting for it to go away, but the start date was quickly approaching. Deciding to take action, I worked with a Physical Therapist to get me back in fighting shape. We focused on core strengthening exercises to get my back ready for the thousands of miles ahead. By delicately riding the line between recovery and exertion, we did the best we could. After seriously considering postponing my hike, it was time to let the arrow fly.
Be willing to accept help
One would hope that the beginning of a multi-month adventure would be as smooth as possible, but life sometimes has other plans. I took public transit to the airport, but city buses can have a mind of their own. Unfortunately I missed my flight, but knew I would be fine if I made it to Atlanta eventually.
Be flexible on start date
I stayed with family in Woodstock, GA before setting off on the trail. My gracious hosts, Laura and Bob, made sure that I was well feed and well read about the trail. The forecast called for rain on my planned start date; although reluctant to change the itinerary, delaying my start date ended up being the best decision I could have made. Avoiding rain on the Appalachian Trail would be near impossible, but if I could get a few dry days under my belt, it would help build confidence.
Even if your preparation does not go as planned, you can always decide to hike on.
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