Why Am I Doing This?

I have been putting off this post for awhile. Actually, I never even wanted to do it. Why, I thought to myself. Psshh, you know why. You can’t explain it, you just, you just…

That was all the argument I had. Suffice to say, it didn’t last long. Here I was minding my own business, when this Zach Davis came along and read my thoughts (and seemed to know I would pass over that part). Commit your reasons, your lists, in writing. And in Appalachian Trials, he waited patiently for me to actually stop reading until I’d written down two lists: I am Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail because… and When I successfully thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, I will…

I admit I stopped reading for over a week. I just didn’t have time, I didn’t need to anyway…but no, eight waiting lines and many sets of ellipses had me convinced I could not move forward and glean more advice until I’d done this seemingly simple task. Finally, less than two months before my start date, I sat down and thought about those lists.

This is hanging on my door now, as if I needed more reminders.

This is hanging on my door now, as if I needed more reminders.

I am Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail because…

  • It has been a life dream of mine for many years now
  • I need a shift in my life
  • If not now, when? My body and life commitments are in sync
  • It will be a great adventure
  • I want to learn other skills
  • I want to test myself physically and mentally
  • I read a really good book about it
  • 6 months of fresh air, pine needles, and vistas
  • an escape from the electronics, screens, and Internet craze
  • it is now something I need to do

When I successfully thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, I will…

  • be much more self-confident
  • have an amazing story
  • know I can accomplish something major if I put my mind and will to it
  • become part of a huge and loving Trail community
  • not be afraid of the woods in the dark
  • be adept at throwing bear bags
  • add one more tick to the “Women Who Have Hiked the Appalachian Trail” column
  • see the world around me in a different way
  • have a clearer grasp of who I am and what I want
  • write a memoir
  • have thrown my “normal” life into chaos and survived it

Okay, okay. Once I got going it was hard to stop. And yes, this will be good to keep on an index card to kick myself when I need it. I had been under this impression that you can’t explain your reasons to anyone (I even wrote about it here). I’m amending that: you need to be able to explain them to yourself, however intangible they may seem.

Am I ready to move onto the next chapter? Oh – uh, apparently not. Another list! At least this one will be easy. I think.

If I give up on the Appalachian Trail, I will…

  • think of myself as a failure
  • regret, regret, regret
  • lose my passion // get apathetic in most areas of my life
  • “settle” rather than go after what I really want
  • not be able to look others in the eye for a year or more
  • cry
  • have no clue what I want anymore; be thrown into confusion and chaos and not in a good way

Wow. Rough. Let’s avoid that, shall we?

Katahdin here I come!

Katahdin here I come!

Phew, I can move onto Section Two!

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