Why am I putting my life on hold to hike the AT in 2021?

While I was researching the various books on the AT, one stood out to me. “Appalachian Trials” by our very own Zach Davis. What makes this book stand out from the rest is it’s all about the mental aspects about the trail. I’ve heard from many people that although the AT is a physically demanding trail it’s not really the reason why most people get off. It’s the mental game and the difficulties one goes through listening to the voices inside the mind. I’ve thought of this but never put too much thought into it. At least until I read Zach’s book, thank you for that. Early on in the book Zach tells the reader to make three separate lists. These lists are to be used as a motivator for when those days come of wanting and wishing to be back home. I’m sure I will have this thought at least a dozen times when I’m on trail and I want to make sure I’m strong enough to overcome that. I think I am but I want to take every precaution. Be prepared as the Boy Scouts say. Here is my first list.

I am Thru- Hiking the Appalachian Trail because…

  • Since I first heard of the AT it’s always been on my mind
  • I am not happy with where I am in life
  • I want a change
  • I need to change
  • I need a break from society
  • Hiking and backpacking are my passions
  • I want to get my triple crown
  • I want to walk from Georgia to Maine
  • I want the adventure of a lifetime
  • I want to challenge and push myself
  • For once, I want to complete something
  • I want to surround myself with like minded people and people I can relate to on a daily basis
  • I don’t want to be part of the 9-5 lifestyle we’ve created for ourselves
  • I want to be happy
  • I’ll get to call the mountains my home for half a year

Well there’s some of the reasons why I’m doing the AT. Although not every reason, some of them I have to keep to myself, these are what will keep me going. These will be my daily reminders when I start to question my decision to do this. I know this isn’t going to be easy. I know I’m going to hurt. I know what will happen if I get off trail and go home. Stay tuned for that list and What will happen when I complete my thru- hike.


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Comments 3

  • pearwood : Dec 30th

    Go for it, Casey!

    Appalachian Trials is excellent. I posted my own answers a week or so ago.

    Steve / pearwood.

  • Rick : Dec 30th

    I admire your declarations about “change.” Everything in your list emphasizes moving in a new direction. But I don’t understand your title; “putting my life on hold.” Seems to me that when something is “on hold” you expect to come back to the same things where you left off. Your list and title seem out of synch. Nit picking? Maybe. Semantics. Probably. Something to think about. Certainly has me thinking about own my reasons. Good luck on your journey.

    • Robert Jubin : Dec 31st

      Wow. Talk about being in the same place. My 22 year marriage has ended. I am trying to keep a business afloat that maybe I am not cut out for and maybe for the wrong reason. I am soon to lose the roof over my head with no lease or mortgage in place coupled with the marriage ending, I considered the walk for some healing and clarity after forcefully becoming independent at this stage in my life. 2022 maybe once the loose ends are tied up.


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