What I Would Love to Get Out of Our AT 2020 Thru-Hike

The Obvious Thru-Hike Aspirations

I have spent a fair amount of time in the lead-up to starting our thru-hike on March 24, 2020, contemplating what it is that I want to get out of the time on the trail. There are, of course, the physical things like losing weight, becoming stronger, and pushing myself well beyond my comfort zone. Mentally I want to beat a lifetime of depression and continue to hone the resilience that I have been focusing on. I fully expect my biggest challenges to be the mental and emotional ones.

But There Has to Be More

In my reflections I have found myself constantly coming back to two words… becoming and being. We spend so much of our lives focused on becoming. How many times have you heard adults asking children what they want to become when they are older? Your choice of subjects at school are based on what your chosen career will be. We get degrees and complete our master’s with the eye on the prize of who and what it will enable us to become. We get onto the corporate ladder and then constantly focus on how to climb up to the next rung.

I understand that becoming is a necessary part of life because it is also what encourages us to dream and grow but what we need is balance. If becoming is the ying then being should be the yang.

We are not ever encouraged to truly inhabit the moment—a state of simply being. To me being is an opportunity to be consciously present and be grateful for what I have and where I am right now. It is to completely live in the moment.

I hope that on this thru-hike I find the balance that these two words represent.

Wiser, Healthier, and Happier

So in summary, when we summit Katahdin at the end of 2,193 miles, I hope that I find myself wiser, healthier, and happier!

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Comments 5

  • Effie Drew : Jan 3rd

    I love how you talk about the act of simply being! Well-put. That’s central to a thru-hike and one of the most important practices for all of us. Happy hiking!

    Reply
  • Deet (Detox) : Jan 3rd

    Great post y’all.

    As part of Appalachian Trials homework, I tried to figure out why I want to hike the AT. I ended up with wanting to being present in every moment I spend on the trail.

    You sum it up perfectly

    “We are not ever encouraged to truly inhabit the moment—a state of simply being. To me being is an opportunity to be consciously present and be grateful for what I have and where I am right now. It is to completely live in the moment.”

    Maybe see you out there….

    Reply
    • Twogirlsgowalkabout : Jan 4th

      Thanks Deet! Will look out for you on the trail!

      Reply
  • Marco : Jan 3rd

    My wife and I both Zimbos will hike the at this year Can anyone advise us re hitchhiking from Gainesville to amicola sp

    Reply
    • Paul Kina 'Rain Man' : Jan 6th

      Send me an email Marco. Good hiking to you!

      Reply

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