On Feeling Stuck


Some lovely photos from my day hike on the Jefferson loop in the Whites.

I’m not on the trail, and there’s nothing I can do about it.

Instead, It’s almost midnight, and I’m sitting in my studio apartment above one of the only restaurants – if you could call it a restaurant – in the small college town of Henniker NH, with a cat trying to walk across my keyboard every five minutes.
You’ve heard of post trail depression, but what about pre-trail depression?


IMG_1213Before I start hiking in April, I must endure 15 grueling weeks of education, followed by a few months of nonstop work. This week, I reached a point where I didn’t care so much about finishing my degree and the fact that I’m so broke I’d only make it halfway to my starting point in Georgia. I didn’t really care that I have my very last season of cross country ahead of me. It would not bother me in the least if I could just skip all that and be hiking at IMG_1166this very instant. It’s frustrating, and I’m angry and upset and nostalgic all at the same time, pretty much all the time.

It would be easy to let the days slip by in monotony, each day wishing I were some place else, some place better, but you know what they say…


IMG_1216The grass is always greener somewhere else.

I tell myself over and over, I’ll get there when I get there. Really consciously putting in the effort to focus on the day that’s in front of me instead of dreaming about what’s to come. I know in my head that trying to make each day better than the last and continuing to work hard in every aspect of my life will ultimately make getting to the trail a sweeter IMG_1196reward. Knowing that doesn’t make it any easier, but at least it’s a step.

Feeling “stuck” is something I think most people experience at some point in their lives. Maybe you hate the job you’re in, or you just can’t wait to graduate, or you never started the family that you wanted. I get it, I’m there, and it’s not easy. The best thing about life is that if you don’t like something about your, you have the IMG_1178power to change it. Unless you’re me and then it’s just a waiting game. As an athlete and particularly a long distance runner, the most important thing I’ve learned is how to endure pain, and right now that’s the name of the game.

And until then, I suppose there’s always day hiking.

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Comments 2

  • Lou Eckert : Sep 1st

    Erica, you will make it with your attitude and insight into life. So worry not, and enjoy the uphill climb to the uphill climbs! Keep us posted on your progress…

  • Chris Ummer : Sep 2nd

    Erica, good things come to those that wait… the more wait the more spectacular! I have a feeling you’re going to have a brilliant fall and cross country season! Your remarkable trek will come in time… and that will make it more remarkable. See you on the trails, both above treeline and between the start and finish line!


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