Take the Jump and Seize the Day
My first time in a plane, I jumped out of it. Well, the professional skydiver I was attached to did most of the work, but you get the gist. I’ve never been one to sit back and watch life go by. Whether it’s a trip to New Hampshire to finish hiking the 48 4,000-footers, training for a race, or baking enough for a small village, I am constantly on the move.
AT? Never Heard of Her
I first learned about the AT from thru-hikers while backpacking the Pemigewasset Loop. The idea of hiking from Georgia to Maine was unfathomable, but also intriguing. “Would you guys ever hike the AT?” Amanda asked on our rainy traverse. “Maybe, but probably SOBO,” Meg answered. I, on the other hand, said, “Not a chance.” Oddly enough, I soon found myself researching all that I could about the trail, talking to thru-hikers, and playing with the idea of actually attempting this 2,190.9-mile trail.
Seize the Day
The saying carpe diem has been a driving force in my life ever since watching a clip from Dead Poets Society in ninth grade. In this scene, Robin Williams lectures his students on the importance of seizing the day: looking for opportunities and making the most out of them for an extraordinary life. Having lost a parent at a young age, this message helped me see me see that life is precious, and only you can make the most out of it.
So that brings us to my decision to hike the Appalachian Trail. After constant back and forth between going to graduate school as planned or attempting to hike the AT, the latter won. The day I submitted my application I knew that I needed to be on the AT. As someone who is very passionate about their career, this continues to be a constant struggle of validation. Am I really making the right choice by leaving a great job and future opportunities? Yes, yes, yes. Time is precious and experiences are invaluable, making this is the most realistic time to undertake an adventure of such magnitude. Not everyone understands this decision, but it’s not theirs to make. When receiving pushback with endless questions starting with “why” for your decision to thru-hike or whatever life-changing decision you choose to make, remember that it’s your life to live and no one else’s. Live your truth and have a heck of a good time doing it.
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