Things I tell myself

It’s about believing in yourself

Self-motivation is a key to doing just about anything in life but is particularly useful when hiking. It’s no secret that hiking is not always easy. You can expect things like crying for a verity of reasons, pain just about everywhere, and constantly questioning why you are there. It’s a mental challenge as much as it is a physical challenge.

I have always been one for Silver Linings and optimism. Now, that does not mean that I don’t struggle with my own brine telling me I cant do things and trying its hardest to un-motivate me and bring me down. Its always been an uphill battle for me when it comes to my own self-worth and power. Hiking gives me power and confidences, and I refuse for my mental health issues to take that from me. I use mantras and motivational sayings to keep me going when every other part of me wants to stop. 

These are the things I tell myself when I need motivation and empowerment 

1. Standing on top of mountains

“I put myself here. I hiked up and down the trail. Scrambled up rocks and over tree limbs. My legs hurt and my lungs burned. I felt the hot sun and cold winds on my skin. I put myself here out of my own straight and will.”

2.Walking down mountains

“I put myself up here, and I can take myself down”

3.When in pain or struggling mentally or when I realize I have so little time before I’m on trial.

“I’ve got this”

“I can do this”

“I’m okay”

“One step at a time”

“Just keep going”

“Keep moving forward”

I’m walking so I can overcome the hard moments and experience the amazing ones.

A little cadence

I also like to make up very bad turns when I’m walking along and have nothing to do (I once sang a song about tiny bird legs for about 40 minutes while walking on a beach). So because of my love keeping my mind busy and fun little tunes, I have come up with a little walking cadence. It may not be the best, but I feel it will help me mentally as things get rough and tough on trial.

“I could walk 2000 miles

I could walk them with all smiles

With these trekking poles in hand

I’m gonna go a trekking, man

Down these trails and up these mountains

I’m just gonna keep on travelin’

With these feet, ill make it all the way

F#*k this pain

I’m making it to Main” 

As my time before I start gets shorter and shorter

I am preparing myself for what might happen on my hike. I know that thru-hiking the AT is no small feat and every day will bring its own and new challenges.I know I will have days where I won’t want to move and I will question my self harshly. I also know I will have days where I feel unstoppable and stronger and happier then I have ever felt. I’m excited about new things I will experiences and the challenges I cant ever imagine.  The uncertainty, and unknown, and the things I will learn from them. All I can do is except that I will have some very hard days and some mind-blowingly amazing days. With the trail as my guide and my mind and body ready to take in all that it can, I’m excited to see what is to come.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 2

  • Brandon Chase : Jan 10th

    Mantras are key! I use them all the time when running ultramarathons to keep myself to a cadence and take my mind off the pain/heat/whatever. You’ll do great!

    Reply
  • Ruth morley : Jan 15th

    Katie, your post had some great ideas. I really like the self-affirmations for when you reach a peak and for descending. And your little walking cadence rhyme is super! Mind if I borrow it?

    I’m going through a lot of self doubts right now, as I await my late April resumption on the trail. Severe tendonitis in both feet stopped me last year after 500 miles. I’m doing everything I can right now to strengthen and prepare my body for finishing the trail this year, but I know what challenges lay before me. Your post gave me more tools as my disposal. Thank you!

    Reply

What Do You Think?