Why I’m thru-hiking

“Because it’s there”

To use the famous George Mallory quote.  While he said that about climbing Mount Everest I think it applies here…

I’m not sure my original reason

I decide to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail when I was 15, what I didn’t realize was that there was a huge community of people who had, were planning to, or were just interested in it.  One day I just thought “I really want to hike the entire Appalachian Trail from Maine south.  I wonder if anyone’s ever done that before…” which I immediately googled and discovered sites such as this, and whiteblaze.

Other than it being a crazy idea I had when I made the decision not to go to college immediately after graduating high school I’ve come up with the following lists of why I’m hiking, what will happen when I succeed, and what would happen if I gave up early.

I’m hiking the AT because…

  • It will be the most committing thing I’ve ever attempted.
  • It will make me more confident in myself.
  • I want to fill my life with crazy adventures, and this seems like a good place to start.
  • If I can do the entire trail then I really can do anything.
  • To prove people who said I can’t do it wrong.
  • I want to push myself out of my comfort-zone as much as possible.  Not just to get out of it, but to expand my comfort-zone.
  • I had a hella cool tattoo idea that I can’t get unless I finish the whole trail!!

When I successfully hike the AT I will…

  • Be more confident in my own abilities.
  • Be less afraid of: Being alone, not being in control, spiders, and germs.
  • Have amazing stories, pictures, and memories for the rest of my life.
  • Get a sick new tattoo.

If I give up on the trail I will…

  • Face the shame of admitting that I couldn’t complete it.
  • Be far less confident in myself.
  • Not to able to complete most of the goals I have set for myself.
  • Be afraid of trying anything new.
  • Not have the cool tattoo.

Now this last list seems like it could be a little dramatic…


While I’m still not sure what that crazy 15 year old was thinking when she decided to hike over 2000 miles, I’ve come up with some reasons that will definitely keep me going.

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