PMS’ing girl in the woods
Here’s an idea.. Let’s throw a PMS’ing girl into the woods, have her hike literally up & down mountains for 9 hours a day as she gets pummeled w/ rain for 3 consecutive days. Yup, that’s me. Man, hiking the AT is much more challenging than I considered! I no longer am exactly sure what sort of leisurely walk in the woods I had pictured before we left for this adventure- but just to be clear, there has been nothing leisurely about our first week on the trail… The pretrail alone starts off by climbing 425 steps up a waterfall. “Strenuous”, which is what the sign preceding Amicalola Falls, & what will forever be known as “steps of hell”, was labeled is a grotesque understatement. Specifically while carrying 30-45 lbs on your back while moving up, down & around mountains! Needless to say, our first few days on the trail were a wake up call. We soon realized that the amount of miles we had planned to hike, while sitting in the comforts of beautiful mans bed at home, was unrealistic. 18-20 mile days at our pace means nothing but hiking. No breaks, no time for photo-ops, no time to do much of anything but walk. Walking up & down, up & down, up, steady consistency, & back down. By the time we’d get to whatever shelter we’d planned on stopping at for the night it’d be minutes before sun down. Our aching bodies would quickly set up the tent (usually in the rain), & we’d take on our usual campsite roles until our bellies were full (well, somewhat), our feet were lotioned (thanks ma!), & our food was out of reach from any hungry visitors. I’ve cried at least once every single day on the trail. Not necessarily because it’s too hard. Physically, I know Corbob & I can kick this trails ass, 1 step at a time. It’s the mental side that really gets to you. Throughout your hike you start remembering that you voluntarily chose to do this- the hardest, most continual bootcamp you’ve ever experienced. Uphills are the most challenging but downhills hurt your knees more- & the entire time your doing anything other then going uphill, your anticipating the next mountain- which will come sooner then you’d like. I think Beautiful man & I realized pretty early on that hiking may not necessarily be for us. There are parts of our trip that we thoroughly enjoy & very little of them revolve around panting up a mountain. Camping, being surrounded by nature, spending our days outdoors (on the odd occasion that it’s not raining), doing yoga & fishing, which admittedly we’ve done little to none of since we started our trip, spending time together & talking about our future. I think in our attempts to stay on track, Corey & I may have forgotten why we decided to hike the Appalachian Trail to begin with. We’ve been killing ourselves to get to the next shelter all to do it again the next day, & the day after that. Sore, frustrated, unfulfilled. I wanted this trip to find more of myself, to grow as a person & to reflect on what I wanted most in my life. I wanted to be able to practice what I love, be able to open up my mat & my heart everyday. I wanted to meditate surrounded my nature & spend some quality time w/ my beautiful man. We got so caught up in rushing & sprinting & life… That we forgot to actually live. I guess it really doesn’t matter where you are, the same tendencies come rushing back no matter how far away you run. It’s as if we lost track of ourselves in order to find ourselves. Not cool. We talked a lot about it, well because what else is there to do other then talk?! & we’ve decided to modify our trip- make the AT fit w/ what we want most. We’re planning to slow things down, take breaks, enjoy the mini-vacays we planned in each state we pass- even if that means taking an alternate trail to shed a few miles off the AT. We are going to take more photos (& actually look happy in them!!). We are going to make memories while hiking as far as we can make it in the time we’ve given ourselves. We are going to appreciate our time & each other & try our best not to carried away in trying to hike a ‘perfect’ trail. 1 state down, 13 to go!!! & by the way, Corey’s sister Traci is meeting us in Franklin, NC today to hike a week w/ us! Can’t wait!!
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