To Be or Not to Be?
Quick Updates: passed 500 miles remaining (currently 380), in the White Mountains, broke another phone, bought new shoes (5th pair), ‘Oh, Yeah!’ has done almost 800 miles with me
Last week I was FaceTiming my parents when they said something that caught me off guard. They noted, “Jared, you seem like you’re ready to be done.” Maybe it was because I sent them a letter from NYC saying that I missed them or maybe it was because I didn’t have much to say other than that we were hiking bigger miles and I was happy about it.
Regardless, I was left thinking about how I felt about the last little bit of the trail. I know that I have long lost the initial love that I had for the trail, but I wonder how I will feel when I am finished and am back in sedentary life.
This might not make sense if you don’t follow baseball much, but I compare my current emotional and physical state much to how I imagine a professional baseball player feels near the end of a season. They have played more than 100 games and are in the home stretch before the playoffs where there is no time for relaxing or quitting. The body is beginning to become exhausted from the daily wear and tear of being exerted on such high levels each day and the spirit is also weak from the emotional battle of missing friends and family while also attempting to maintain a positive attitude through difficult times.
Obviously this may be a little dramatic, but the parallels are all there. Big K is the World Series and everything up until then feels like the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs bases loaded. Unlike baseball, I don’t have to swing – just walk.
With the coming of Maine and currently hiking through the Whites, I feel the feelings of my first days on trail being in awe of everything that I see, but yet I still long to be finished. At the very same time, I want to take it slow. I want to enjoy the rest of my time on the trail because I know that there will never be a time like the one that I am experiencing now.
So as my mom says, I will hike on – not only to finish, but to enjoy the journey. I won’t rush, but I will keep moving. I won’t quit, even though I want to be done. I will hike on because I don’t want it to end.
Until Next Time
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