Ready to Fly: The Journey Before The Journey
Day Zero. Travel day. Rode a packed van to the busiest airport in the world, ATL. My flights to Bangor are full, and I’m expecting to meet many of my new friends on the bus to Medway. The irony is not lost on me as I soon begin a ME-GA trek that is known for extensive periods of solitude. I look forward to picking up my purple thru-hiker pass and climbing Katahdin to start this journey.
I feel physically prepared with my body and my gear, but I’m not sure how you prepare mentally and emotionally. There are techniques you can use to help keep hardships in perspective and build resilience, but it’s difficult to leave my family. This is the first time we have voluntarily been separated for any extensive period of time. Stressful situations will arise that I cannot help them through. But I am confident they will take care of everything that comes up, likely better than I would handle it.
My immediate family has been critical to my preparation for this journey, exercising a lot of patience and active listening. But my extended family, new church family, and friend network has been a foundation of confidence, too. I’m not sure could take the first steps without their support.
The AT thru-hiker network has also been amazing with information and recommendations on travel and gear. Starting in Maine is a different animal from Georgia. The Trail gets very real, very fast. I look forward to meeting my new future friends who are embracing the challenge.
Everyday, I will need to wake up and remember my “why”. Unplug from the stress of a career in the Army. Reconnect with nature and the American people. Show my boys the old guy can still get it done.
I’m also hiking to support Camp Resilient. You can donate by clicking HERE or hit the tip the author button at the bottom of this page.
Happy Trails until Monson!
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