When I successfully thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, I will…

We don’t always get second chances in life, especially a second chance at an Appalachian Trail thru-hike. It’s a monumental endeavor to attempt it just once. But twice? I can’t pass this up.

To spare you the insanely boring details, in my last blog post I talked about where I went wrong with my hike and ways I would change it if I could do it again. Privately, I had set a tentative goal of doing another thru hike in 2018, but the calling was just too much. I needed to go back to the trail. I started making lists. Financial goals. Career goals. Personal Goals. I’d be lying if I said I’m not taking a hit financially and with my career, but this is one of those times I have to follow my heart.

It’s hard to explain to someone not familiar with the Appalachian Trail just how important this is to me. In Zach Davis’s book, he asks you to make three lists. I want to publicly post my lists in order for my friends, family, and the 3 followers of this blog to keep me accountable. Let’s have a looksee….

Morning mist on the trail just outside of Port Clinton, PA

I am Thru Hiking the Appalachian Trail because….

* It has been a dream of mine for 20 years
* I want to experience the wilderness before its views are compromised and its resources dwindled
* I want to experience the culture and people that make the AT so wonderful
* I did not complete my thru hike last year
* I need an adventure before going back into the workforce
* I need time to think about the direction in life I am heading

When I successfully thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, I will…

* Feel as if I can accomplish anything
* Erase my feelings of failure from last year
* Be a part of something few have accomplished
* Have bonded with nature
* Be focused in my career
* Have completed something so insanely physically and mentally challenging

If I give up on the Appalachian Trail, I will…

* Have two failed attempts at a thru-hike
* Doubt my mental toughness and fortitude
* Settle for mediocrity in all aspects of life
* Be a quitter
* Have let my dream slip through my hands
* Be embarrassed

Springer Mountain is calling….

I leave for Springer Mountain in a few short days and am energized, refreshed, and excited to backpack. I look forward to sharing my adventure with you. I am also participating in the video blog series on The Trek’s YouTube channel. You can see my video introduction here.

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Comments 18

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    Brenda : Mar 23rd

    Great post. I went back and read the post with your lessons and I loved it. I will follow your hike with pleasure and great anticipation of the day you finish in Maine!!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Tom W : Mar 23rd

      Thank you very much for the support!

      Reply
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    Vince Piquet : Mar 23rd

    Same thing happened to me last year. Tendon issues in right knee. Starting again in June SOBO in ME. Good luck in your journey. Fair seas and following winds.
    Vince

    Reply
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      Tom W : Mar 23rd

      Thanks Vince! I wish you the best on you hike as well.

      Reply
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    Larry : Mar 23rd

    Good luck Tom; look forward to the blog and reading up on your journey!!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Tom W : Mar 23rd

      I appreciate you reading and following. It means a lot.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Tom W : Mar 23rd

      Thank you. I can’t wait!

      Reply
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    Otter : Mar 23rd

    Tom, this caps a series of great posts that have been very useful and even inspirational to me. Have a great hike! Hope to see you out there! Otter

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Tom W : Mar 23rd

      Thank you very much for the kind words. I really appreciate that.

      Reply
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    Glenda E : Mar 23rd

    Tom–I think you were in Harper’s Ferry the same day I was ending my section hike!! I wish you the best this year…I’m hoping to get in a few more hundred miles every year until my time for a through hike presents itself…The trail is calling me back also.

    Reply
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      Tom W : Mar 23rd

      The trail has this wonderful way of pulling us in and not wanting to let us go. Thank you for the kind words.

      Reply
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    Buffalo + Mumble : Mar 23rd

    You got this!!! Keep believing in yourself! We’ll see you out there soon!

    Reply
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    Aileen Borders : Mar 23rd

    Go Tom! Live your dream because life is short, you only live once, all that good stuff. Good luck on the trail!

    Reply
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    Katina : Mar 23rd

    I, too, am heading back (to finish now as a LASHER) after getting off last year. You got this!

    Reply
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    George : Mar 25th

    I have a firm rule and it has worked for me… I’m not allowed to quit when I’m wet, tired, hungry or cold.

    Reply
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      John martin : Apr 3rd

      That is the best rule there is when considering quitting!

      Reply
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    Chuck Crookshanks : Mar 26th

    I followed your posting last year and I sure would not think of you as a quitter. In my mind you were just preventing your injury from getting worse and stopping you from reaching your goal at that later date. You were hiking your hike and not someone else’s. Good luck this year and Happy Trails.

    Reply
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    John martin : Apr 3rd

    Tom, will you be writing articles and posting videos both or just writing?

    Reply

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