The Mental Challenge of Hiking in Two Worlds

The Appalachian Trail is tough on the body and tough on the mind. We all know this. The mental challenges will take you off trail just as quickly as a bad knee. So I’m doing my best to stay focused.

But it’s tough. Why?

Every time I switch my phone off airplane mode, I am swamped with text messages from loved ones expressing how thankful they are that I am where I am and safe.

Wait, wha? Aren’t loved ones supposed to worry about me getting eaten by bears or falling off cliffs?

Well, yes. But I’m safer now than where I was a year ago.

You see, this time last year, I was still living in Kyiv, Ukraine.

We were finishing my husband’s last military assignment at the US Embassy in Kyiv. My youngest kiddo graduated high school there. Hell, I trained for this hike in that beautiful hilly city.

My training ground for the Amicalola stairs.

To say the last week has been distracting and stressful would be putting it very very mildly.

My head is in two places. My heart is in two places. I feel very powerless to help my friends over there. But I’m doing this massive challenge that is supposed to remind me just how powerful I am. On the bright side, being lost in thought does make the miles go by.

Stay focused, girlfriend.

Слава Украііна




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Comments 2

  • pearwood : Feb 26th

    Understood. This old Army helicopter jockey has artist friend in the Ukraine — and in Russia.
    Blessings on your way,

  • Scott Naucler : Feb 26th

    I can’t imagine what you are going through. Hopefully, hiking will be a good distraction. Now more than ever, live in the moment while you are hiking.


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