The Mental Prep Lists

I am less than a month from my departure date and I need to seriously start to amp up my mental preparations. It’s hard to get to the woods, so mentally I have to make it all happen in the city. I’m doing what I can, so enjoy the view in the header from one of my long runs along the Hudson. Without further ado, here are my Big Three lists.

I am thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail because…

  • I want to do something BIG. Something bigger than myself. 2,180+ miles more than myself.
  • I need to disconnect and not worry about the damn internet so much.
  • I want to further my mental and physical endurance.
  • I want to join the exclusive “club” of finishers.
  • I want to spite my friend Claude who is currently working on becoming a Park Ranger, after he stole the idea from me. So I’ll complete the trail which is also his dream as well as mine.
  • I want to be less boring. I’ll go develop some stories.
  • I started the trail and god damn it, I need to finish.
  • If I wait, the opportunity to thru-hike could pass me by.
  • I want to stop being so selfish. I have always done things for me. I have my tight knit group of amazing friends but I always valued time to myself. I’ve spent the majority of my time single and never had the responsibility of taking care of another person or animal for that matter. I want to do one more big selfish thing to get that selfishness out of my system while connecting with other like minded people on the trail.

When I successfully thru-hike I will…

  • Get a sweet, well earned AT tattoo.
  • Gain mental strength.
  • Gain physical strength.
  • Loosen up a bit.
  • Have met wonderful like-minded people.
  • Have sick bragging rights and stories.
  • Be one step closer to completing my bucket list.
  • Be more motivated and less lazy.

If I give up on the Appalachian Trail I will…

  • See myself as a quitter.
  • Not feel as strong mentally.
  • Feel like a flake on my responsibilities rather than an adventurer.
  • Even if I can finish at a separate time I will feel like I missed out on the full experience.
  • Think of myself as someone who gives into excuses.
  • Feel lazy.
  • Feel like I wasted all my money on gear and wasted my time.

By writing all this I hope to be accountable to my family, my friends and everyone on the internet, as well as to myself. If I’m going to take a big risk by putting my life on hold and possibly risking my career path, I’m going to do it right. I’m going to do it all out and make it count. I need to do it all.

Don’t worry my trail updates will hopefully be less serious. Thanks!

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