Here’s My Status Report, 30 Days Out

As of today, I am one month out from beginning my AT thru hike.  In less than a month, my husband and I will be driving to Georgia to spend a few days at Amicalola Falls State Park and then he will be driving home alone while I start the adventure of a lifetime.  Since this is probably the last time I will post before I leave, here is an update on the madness that is my brain right now.

A Status Report: The Good, the Bad, and Everything in Between

—Thirty days till I start walking north.

—Less than a month till we drive to Georgia.

—My resignation was submitted and approved so I’m currently at 13 work days left.

—Our hotel in Georgia is booked.

—I unpack and re-pack my trail clothes on an almost daily basis.  My fear is being too cold but I don’t want to pack too many unnecessary clothes.

—As my date looms ever closer, I find myself questioning my gear choices as much as, if not more than, some of my bigger life choices.  This is serious stuff, man.  But I know it’s just last-minute anxiety and anticipation so I’m trying to stay as chill as possible about it.

—My dehydrator has been running like crazy—I actually burned one up (sorry, Dustin!).

—My favorite recipes that I’ve made so far:  1. shrimp alfredo with pasta and 2. chili
-Eating out of a Ziploc bag never tasted so good.

—I haven’t been able to get out into the woods as much as I’d like to lately, especially with the crazy cold snap Pennsylvania has had the past few days, but I’ve still been trying to sneak in training wherever I can.  My goal is to walk to work one to three times each week in the three weeks I have left at my job.  I’ll be setting up in the backyard a few times in the next few weeks and, of course, real shakedowns whenever possible.

The Bad

—The past two weeks have been weird.  Doubts and second thoughts have suddenly been rearing their ugly heads.  I’m having anxiety about being away from my husband for so long.  Questions keep swirling around in my brain:

“Can I really do this?”

“What if I’m not ready?”

“What if I fail?”

These questions and thoughts have been constant but I’ve been working on ways to keep the negative thoughts at bay.

The Good

First of all, I have a super supportive husband.  Seriously, he is amazing.  Every time I say that I’m trying to thru-hike, he says, “Don’t try, do.  You’re going to do this.”  And he listens to my incessant worries about our relationship and how being away for months at a time is going to hurt.  He reminds me that I’ve done more difficult things, that I am strong, and that I have a lot of supportive people who love me—no matter where I am.  He’s the best and almost always makes me feel better.

I have a huge net of people cheering me on.  It has been amazing.  I’ve received more support than I ever thought I would.  Coworkers who I never knew very well before are stopping by to ask me questions about my trip and my gear.  They can’t wait to follow my posts and put little tacks and flags on the map as I progress.  My mom even got her own map!  And even if she never feels great about me hiking the AT, she’s starting to come around—buying me stuff I need, asking me questions, checking out my gear.  People I haven’t spoken to in years are messaging me to tell me how cool they think what I’m doing is, strangers (literally people I have never met before) who heard from a friend of a friend who knows me have contacted me through Facebook to share their support.  It has been crazy and amazing.  Cramazing, if you will.  And this is in addition to the family and friends who always support me, in basically everything I do.

What if I Fail?

It’s taken me quite awhile but I’m kind of reframing my idea of failure.  Months ago, my idea of failing in this endeavor would’ve looked like not making it to Katahdin. Now I think, even if I don’t make it to Katahdin (which, if you ask my husband, I will) I will have still done something that relatively few others have done. I will have dropped my “real life” in pursuit of a big dream. And even if I don’t summit Katahdin, I’ll be able to look back and know that I tried.  At the very least, in the future, I’ll never have to ask myself, “What if…?”

When I really stop to think about it, all that support makes it really easy to tell any and all self-doubts to go straight to hell.

See You from the Trail

And that’s it.  That’s my latest update.  Summed  up: I’m over the top excited while also being super nervous.  Nervous or not, it’s coming and I’m ready.

Talk to you from the trail.

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Comments 4

  • Nate - Day Hiker : Jan 25th

    You are in nearly the exact same place as I was this time last year. 30 years old, married, steady career, starting the trail February 21st, and also from Pennsylvania. Being away from my wife for that long was definitely the hardest part of the hike. Thankfully, I was able to be in touch with her every day via texts and calls and it was very manageable. There will definitely be low days when you really just want to be home with your spouse or want them to be there experiencing this with you, but it is a tremendous adventure and can be so incredibly worth it.

    Have a tremendous time!

    • Katherine Brosius : Jan 28th

      Thank you for the reassurance! I know it will be ok, especially once I get on the trail! It’s hard not to worry beforehand though!

  • Pony : Jan 25th

    Doubt is normal when pondering one’s first long-distance hike.

    And fear of not making it is actually one of the most common concerns among thru-hikers.

    The minute you set foot on the trail, your body and the trail itself will tell you all you need to know about how to conduct your hike — all you have to do is listen!

    Have fun. It’s an amazing experience.

    • Katherine Brosius : Jan 28th

      Thank you! I know it is going to be amazing! Now that I’m so close to my start date, the anticipation is killing me!


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