New Year and New Anticipation

New Year and New Chapter

It’s a new year and a new chapter is about to be written.  I am so looking forward to my thru-hike.  I believe I will face many new challenges, both mental and physical.  However, 2017 was extremely challenging for my husband and I.  In July Jon had foot surgery that later got infected and went to the bone.  Consequently, he ended up having his big toe amputated after 3 different surgeries.  They finally got everything taken care of and he has healed nicely.

We got him all taken care of and I had surgery twice for basal cell carcinoma on my face; in the space between my nose and cheek.  Finally, after the second surgery, the doctor got it all.  Luckily for me it was in the crease of my nose and shouldn’t leave a scar. Although, I did tell my surgeon that if he left a scar I would just tell everyone it was done by a bear. After all of those trials, I think hiking on the Appalachian Trail should be a walk in the park!

Trail Food

I have a very specific diet that I follow and therefore have to send all my food in mail drops.  Typically, I use Bear Creek Soup mixes, add 1/4c of dry mix to about 2 tablespoons of freeze-dried chicken or TVP.  I had the sleeve bariatric surgery and cannot eat more than about 8oz at a time and must get 60+ grams of protein every day.  I eat about every two hours while I’m hiking, but never get close to 1,000 calories.  It takes me a long time to get food ready to mail out!  I use mylar food bags and seal them with heat.  It works well and I am able to eat well while I’m hiking.  It is better than trying to buy food while I’m out hiking.  It’s also far cheaper to mail my food ahead.

I am also doing Free Gear’s food so he will be eating well too.  My dinners weigh about 2oz each and his weigh 6oz!  He eats so much more than I do!  But, I know we will be able to get some good protein every day and not just eat junk food.

Our dinners are just about done, but I still have breakfasts, lunches and snacks to work on.  I have been ordering some food from Amazon Prime Pantry and making trips to Costco.

Working Out

Now that my surgeries are completed and I am cancer free I will begin working out again.  I use a BowFlex Max Trainer at home, but I am seriously thinking of going to Planet Fitness to work out as well.  I know I need to build some upper body strength and I am thinking that I need to join a gym in order to do that.  My legs are strong, but my core is so very weak.  I know I cannot prepare for the trail as well as I would like, but I would like to begin my hike strong.  It’s hard enough to hike on the AT, but to do so without being prepared would just not be wise.

Much left to do

I still have much to do before I am ready to hike and have about 140 days to get everything done and to prepare myself mentally.  Often, with hiking the AT, the most difficult part is mental.  I need to find the strength within myself on days when I don’t feel like hiking.  The only way I know how to do that is to strengthen my faith in my Lord, because with Him, all things are possible.

I have been very blessed; even though 2017 was a year full of problems with our health.  We are gong to be heading to LasVegas, NV during spring break this spring and then I will be heading to the AT.  When I finish my trek on Springer Mountain, I will be heading for a long Caribbean cruise with my hubby on Thanksgiving Day.  I have much to look forward to indeed!

I pray you all have much to look forward to in 2018 as well and the chapter you write will be a blessing for you and yours!

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Comments 1

  • Ruth morley : Jan 1st

    Julie, it sounds like you’re getting some good meals prepared for your thru hike. I dehydrated and sent all my food last year for the 500 mile section I hiked. It worked out great, and I really enjoyed and benefited from my highly nutritious meals each day. I’m now preparing enough to complete the trail (1700 more miles) in 2018.

    I suggest you go for as much variety as possible, especially dinner. It keeps things interesting.

    As for preparing your body, I totally get what you’re saying. I’m also a grandma of two and suspect I’m the same age group as you. After getting terrible tendinitis in both feet last year (which stopped my flipflop thru hike), I am really working hard now to prepare my whole body, from my feet up to my brain! Check out the REI website for some good training ideas to start with. I agree that a strong core is vital. I’m doing front and side planks every day, along with many other exercises. I highly recommend Pilates.

    I also found that the popular trail running shoes that are presently in vogue just don’t work for me. I’m now back in my supportive hiking boots. To each their own.

    Good luck. I’ll enjoy following your blog. If you wish to see mine on Thetrek.co, go to the class of 2017, Appalachian trail, Ruth Morley.

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