I had lost sight of a specific reason why I was hiking the Appalachian Trail. It was becoming so daunting that I couldn’t even provide an answer to all that asked. Until, one day, the thought was finally formed in my mind, and I felt confident in my trek.
From the wise words of some podcast:
The trip gave me amazing sights, but it’s only in standing still that allowed me to turn those into lasting insights.
In my frustration hiking up an endless switchback at 4K feet, I realized something. There are plenty of reasons people do the trail, and I felt lost with only my fragmented ones. But it dawned on me. A fresh start. Walking endless miles through the country is like a reset. I’ve done so many things I am not proud of. Walking through pointy rocks, uphill, in the burning heat sucks, but it humbles you. Almost makes me feel like I’m paying my debts to myself and working as hard as I can to be a better person.
The next day I felt another reminder after a 5k climb: it’s all little stuff and doesn’t matter. You hear it all the time, but when you can barely breathe and are fighting to get your legs over never ending rocks, it suddenly becomes very real. Every time I spend time in the woods I’m brought back to living in the moment and reminded of not sweating the little stuff. I wish everyone could feel this way… free, in control, you are directly in control of everything around you. You are responsible for the outcome. You are the reason and result for what is happening. I wanted so bad to blame someone else for my struggles. A reason, a scapegoat, for why it was hard, or why I was struggling.
Until I realized, it’s me.
It’s me that trips on rocks, controls how fast I go, when I stop.
When I want food, I eat it, when I need a moment to take it all in, I take it.
When you claim responsibility for everything that happens to you, the magic happens, and it’s a beautiful thing.
Your journey is your own and no one else’s, and I believe it takes true passion to go into something without reason, discovering it along the way.
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