So people ask me questions all the time and I thought I’d take time to answer them here.
Why am I doin this?
My typical answer is “Why not?”, but that’s the short and sweet answer. The real reason I do this is because I can. My body has been fighting against me most of my life. I was in and out of doctors as a child for tummy aches and at 22 I was one of the youngest people they’d ever seen or heard of that had a stomach as wrecked as mine. I don’t digest food properly therefore my blood sugar has a hard time regulating and my core body tempurature has a difficult time as well maintaining. At 22 my hair had stopped growing, my fingernails were brittle and I had lost 50 pounds in a very short time. My body was shutting down. Doctors remedy things with prescriptions and I had around 30 pills I took daily and I still didn’t feel good. I did that until they took one of my medications away due to recall and then wanted to run all the tests again. I said NO! I dove into books and medical journals deciding if anyone was gonna “practice” medicine on me, it was gonna be me! Who better to know how my body reacted to things than me? So, while doin this, I actually made a bucket list and took a second mortgage out on my home to finance it. It’s funny the things you do when your days have a number on them that is spelled out in bold letters with a doctors unrecognizable signature on it. But the days turned into months and the months turned into years and here I am, 39 and still am not the picture of health-far from it, but I’m closer to it than an etched gravestone, so I’ll take it.
Am I scared of goin alone?
Well of course I am!! But nobody can go with me, so my choice is A) Go alone or B) Not go and I chose A. Plus 3000 people take on the AT per year, so even though I’m arriving solo, I’m not hiking alone. I feel like God has led me here for a reason and He will give me the people I need when I need them and He will put people in my way when they need me. Having faith like mine didn’t come easily, but I don’t think faith is ever forged on sunny beaches with cocktails and the sound of gentle waves kissing the sand. Faith is something you hold onto when the storm is raging, you’re hangin on for dear life and the night seems to last for years. So when you wish for faith like mine, be careful what you wish for.
Why did I give up Spartan Race?
I will probably do another Spartan in my life, but what started out two years ago, has turned into something that isn’t fun for me anymore. I started Spartan wanting to better myself and then I needed it to heal what was broken inside, but it turned into me doin it for others. I then turned to road races so I could push myself, but that turned into a social event also, so I need to keep growing and Spartan has stifled me. I need more than an open heat, I need open spans of time that I can listen to myself and hear what God is trying to say without wondering if the person next to me needs me. I NEED ME! I have done most things in my life on my own and this isn’t any diffrent. I just need to reconnect with myself again and the trail offeres me that. When I’m tired, I’ll rest. When I’m hungry, I will eat. When I feel like walking fast, I will. When I don’t, I won’t. It’s simple really and I truly love simple.
Am I gonna hike the whole 2200 miles?
Yes. I want to complete them in a year, but my plans and God’s intentions don’t always line up, so I’m open. I will do all 2200 miles in my lifetime and that’s all I got. Stay tuned as the story is written. I’m doing a chunk from Damascus-south in November if the weather is agreeable. I will not be hiking in 0 degree. I am a badass, but I am not stupid. LOL I don’t know how long I will hike or how many miles I’ll do in a day. I’ve never done anything like this before. I have been takin day hikes with a 39 pound pack with a few over nights, but nothing compared to what I’m about to face on the AT. I’ll just take it as it comes.
What’s in my pack?
It fascinates me when people ask me if I have tent and how am I gonna charge my phone. I guess to someone who researches like I do, I found those things out first and foremost and I worry about whether my sleeping bag will be warm enough and will I be able to find my bear canister once I hang it and leave it for the night. I lose my sunglasses 4 times a day and 3 of those times they’re hidding ON MY HEAD! LOL But I’ll answer for those who don’t know…… I have a solar charger for my phone. I have a GPS and a Spot Messenger which is a satalitle messenging device so people at home can see where I am through an adventure page and I can send messages that let them know I’m ok and both of those are battery opperated. I will have mail drops with more food, which I dehydrate my own food before hand and package it ready to mail. Speakin of food, I carry up to 7 days worth of food in my pack in my bear canister (special made to keep bears from opening it and it gets hung away from my camp to keep bears from wakin me up because even bears are scared to wake this sleeping monster LOL). I have a first aid kit, a knife, a shot of whiskey (for medicinal purposes of course), a tarp, my tent, my sleeping bag, my sleeping pad (which i lay on to insulate me from the cold ground), a pot to cook in, a water filter, a 2L water bladder and a thermos. I think that’s about it. Oh, and a change of clothes and baby wipes.
Can you send me stuff when I’m on the trail?
I’d love for you to!! I love cards and letters. Most of my mail drop have limits and I’ll need them for resupply, but if you wanna mail them to the person who mails my boxes, they will be sure to pack what you send. Care packages are greatly appreciated and I love that people are wanting to support me so much on this adventure. I don’t eat the prepackaged dehydrated food, so please don’t send that, but Little Debbies are never a bad thing, gift cards I can use in trail towns to buy fuel and PIZZA would make me fall in love with you, AA batteries (my Spot takes lithium and my GPS uses alkaline), but mostly I would just like hearing from you.
Email: [email protected]
Address for person in charge of box shipments: C/O Sheena Speaks PO Box 6 Fairland IN 46126
I’ve also had people ask to meet me in towns and feed me (I love you!!!), so email me and we can plan to do that. And people who wanna do a leg of the trail with me are more than welcome (5 or 50 miles, doesn’t matter). Email me and we will make a plan!
There were other questions that I think I answered round aboutly in the previous answeres, but if you have specific ones I didn’t address, please ask. Theres no stupid question, only stupid people KIDDING!! I love that so many people are interested in this and maybe seeing me do this, you now know that you can too!!
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