The Start Before Starting

After all of my worries, sleepless nights, and low-grade panic packing, I finally left Wisconsin and went South. I arrived in Tennessee to stay with family for a little over a week, and I immediately felt so much better. The thing had finally begun.

Out with the Old, In with the New

That being said, there are more worries (and always will be) but they just aren’t hitting the same way. Much like my nervous stomach before a flight, I only need to take off and get in the air for things to settle down. I still have a lot to get done in the less than one week before I start trail, but it doesn’t keep me up like before.

Gear in a hotel chair

Getting the loft up in an Indiana hotel

Knowing that I need to spend some time practicing my knots for the hammock/tarp setup I’m using is much more tangible than the anxiety of leaving my job, home, and friends. And knowing that I’ve likely brought too much and will need to cut some things from my pack feels a hell of a lot more manageable than dealing with the question of what comes after trail. Because yes, you read that right, I’m the type who can worry about post-trail life before setting a single foot on the trail I’m hiking. I’m amazing.

Or I was. My worries are much more immediate now and all have the same pretty simple solution of “take some time and figure it out.” Practice the knots. Cut some weight. Do what I can for the immediate issues like whether or not I’m getting sick from hanging with sick kiddos or whether I just need to adjust to new Southern allergies. Figure it out and save post-trail for post-trail. In other words, one step at a time – whether those steps are on trail or not.

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