Thousands of Thoughts Before Thousands of Miles

I am not a procrastinator, but there is a lot that I have put off that I need to confront. This article for one. The Appalachian Trail for another. I have been committed to this endeavor since high school, but in all truth, I haven’t considered it to be a reality until this week. I start the trail in two days.

My mind is still but my thoughts are not.

What I mean is, my mind is settled. I know everything that I need to about the trail. The culture, the gear, backpacking and myself to know that the Appalachian Trail is something that I can achieve. When I first decided that this was something that I wanted to do, I had never been on a real hike. That sounds naive and that would be true. I was in high school, in Dallas. I had little exposure to the outdoors and no exposure to backpacking. Nevertheless, I was confident and excited. I read books, watched videos, and did research. I knew it was tough, I knew the risks and the small percentage of thru-hikers that make it to the end. Every piece of information that made it sound impossible, made it all that more exciting.

I committed to the goal and stopped thinking about it.

I have spent years adjusting my life so that the trail would make sense to my goals and my timeline. I chose Colorado State University, a school that would give me the opportunities and education that I would need to prepare for the strenuous hike. I graduated early so that I could start the trail on time. I quit my jobs, moved out of my favorite house and away from my favorite people. I set myself up for success, never showing signs or symptoms of self-doubt.

This is where I get honest.

Everything that I have mentioned above is true. I know that I can do this. I’ve known that I can do this. I have worked to make sure that the Appalachian Trail would be a reality for me.

I also know that I suffer from the perpetual underdog syndrome. I self-sabotage myself by making myself believe that everyone else doubts me. After all, I am a 5 foot 4 inch female that grew up in Texas. When others tell me that they are proud and that they “wish they could do what I do,” I roll my eyes. I am not extraordinary and nothing I do is extraordinary. In all reality, there is nothing I can do that others can’t.

I would like to acknowledge that this has never been voiced to me. I have grown up with a disgusting amount of support from family, friends, and even strangers. Nevertheless, I am my best buzz kill. I have managed to ruin every endeavor that I have been excited for or put effort into. I have studied abroad in New Zealand, solo traveled through Thailand, and road tripped through Australia. Every experience was incredible and life changing and has inspired me to go further. I can also now admit that I was doubtful and regretful for the few days leading up to each trip.

My thoughts leading up to the trail.

I am afraid that in an attempt to avoid these thoughts, I have overcorrected. I have reverted to my past coping mechanisms. I have lost all feeling, all emotion. I question how I can be so overwhelmed and so empty at the same time. I am not thinking about my start date. I am not thinking about the trail.

I have been drowning in my thoughts considering leaving my home in Colorado. The house where all my friends gathered, prompted or not prompted. My friends that I went few days without seeing. All of which appear more excited about my time on the trail then myself. In the end when I was leaving, I lost all emotion once again. It wasn’t real. None of this is. I am not leaving. I am not moving out. I will be seeing them next week.

But it is real.

I did move out of my home. I did say goodbye to my friends. I will not be in Fort Collins next week, I will be on the trail. Putting one foot in front of the other. I will be doing what I have been funneling the last six years of my life towards. I will be hiking the Appalachian Trail.

And that is so exciting.

I have been dreaming of this moment and it is fast approaching. I love being in the outdoors. I love to hike. I love to meet new people and see new things. The Appalachian Trail is not a chore, it is not a requirement, it is not a mistake. I am beyond excited for what the next few months will look like. I am capable. I have all the support I need and all the confidence in myself.

Right now there are thousands of thoughts racing through my mind, but I know that in two days I will have none. The noise will subside. I will be thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. It will be real.




My name is Alex Tucker and I am fully invested in this endeavor. I plan to be consistent on this platform but if you would like to know more about me and my time on the trail you can follow me on Instagram @nobo.nomad!

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Comments 6

  • Beth Stokes : Mar 27th

    Johnny and I are pulling for you all the way! What a grand adventure! Be safe and have fun!

  • Jenn M. : Mar 28th

    I am a Leo and full of self-doubt amidst a sea of acknowledgement that I can and have been adventurous, successful, positive, inspiring and all other sorts of supporting sentiments but inside I am always about the “what ifs” and whether I can get this started let alone completed. But this inner monologs is just that “inner” and the loudest voice is the one we create for ourselves because it’s the base fear internally and the sound of not meeting others and our own expectations. I find that when I get into this headspace repeating I can and I will eventually gets me through this doubting phase. Even if it’s more of a chant it has helped me yet the negative things out of my head so I don’t let myself travel down that road. It has helped even though I may never feel comfortable and confident 😌 also for procrastinating I tell myself I am always on time when I should be for things to happen the way my path is going. It at least let’s me not fret about being late because ultimately I am on my time. Have a great trip and I will follow your journey vicariously.

  • Lisa Rangel : Mar 28th

    I’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines. You’ve got this. Enjoy your life, you only get one chance!

  • John R. : Mar 28th

    Sounds like you got all the right thoughts. You go girl. You got this. One day at a time. No one knows your heart like you do. Take a deep breath and be you. I’m excited for you. Sounds fun already. Happy trails 👣.

  • Leah Love : Mar 28th

    Hi there, FoCo local here that’s super happy to have found your blog! I will be following along, and wishing you happy trails every step of the way. 🌿

  • Bluewhale : Mar 31st

    I’ve not read a more committed and introspected thru hiker intro. I look forward to your quest.


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