The Lists

If you’ve  read Appalachian Trials, which I’m assuming you have since you’re on the blog (if not shame on you!), you’ve undoubtedly came to the section where Zach tells you to go fill out three lists towards the back of the book. If you’re anything like me you weren’t too sure about this whole soul searching project that popped out of a book. I went to the pages and saw three very important, yet very intimidating, questions that I now had to confront before my thru-hike.

“I am thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail because…”

“When I successfully thru-hike the Appalachian Trail I will…”

“If I give up on the Appalachian Trail I will…”

Needless to say I put it off and put it off until I realized how important it actually was to answer these questions. This is why I want to hike the Appalachian Trail, without these answers I would be out there for no reason which would stack the odds against me in making it to Maine. So I tore out the three pages of questions and began making my lists…

  1. “I am thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail because..”
    • I never got to finish what I started with the AT (or even make it past the first day).
    • It’s an adventure of a lifetime.
    • Life is about experiences and memories.
    • I won’t have to make anymore coffee.
    • Meet a lot of people I’ll create great friendships with.
    • I’ll have time to reflect on what I want in life.
    • Prove to myself I have what it takes to set a goal and achieve it.
  2. “When I successfully thru-hike the Appalachian Trail I will…”
  • Be THE MAN.
  • Have really nice legs.
  • Have more confidence in myself.
  • Brag to everyone I know.
  • Have learned a lot of important life values.
  • Make my momma proud.
  • Finally be a thru-hiker!!!!!!!
  1. “If I give up on the Appalachian Trail I will…”
  • Be very disappointed with myself.
  • Have to go back to making coffee for people.
  • Quite possibly spiral into a horrible depression and live in a trashcan underneath of a bridge.
  • Punch little babies in their throats.
  • Obviously the last two are slightly exaggerated but the basic gist is I will be disappointed.

Mr.Davis also suggests bringing the lists along with you, that way in times of doubt you can quickly whip those lists out and remember why you’re doing it, why you need to succeed, why you can’t give up on yourself.  I have them in my pack ready to inspire at any moment! If you are about to being your thru-hike or plan on doing one in the future I must express the importance of doing these lists! No matter how daunting it may seem at first, it is truly an indispensable exercise that will help you make it through your journey.

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