You’re Doing What? Why?
I am sure anyone who has pitched the idea of a thru-hike to friends and family is familiar with this question: You’re doing WHAT? Whyyy?
Yes, I am choosing to walk 2,192 miles over the mountains and through the woods. Yes, I ditched my apartment and am voluntarily unemployed. At 24. With student loans piled a mile high. No, really. This seems like a great idea.
Last fall my life took a 180 turn from where I thought it was headed. I then decided to pursue a dream and plan to SOBO thru-hike the AT. At first, I asked myself, “You’re doing WHAT? Whyy?” in a very inquisitive, judgmental, skeptical manner. But it was too late. My adventure mind was made up, and my logic mind just had to get on board.
I had never done a thru-hike, or any overnight hiking/camping trip in the backcountry, when I decided to plan my AT hike. So I had my work cut out for me. You’ll hear many different things about how people planned, or didn’t plan, their thru-hike. I planned A LOT due to my lack of experience and financial situation, and after countless hours of research, budgeting, trips to REI, and nights laying awake dreaming of the woods, I’m hitting the trail.
Why Am I hiking?
I am hiking to intentionally take a step back from life and to experience it at its most raw and fundamental level. Over the past few years I have experienced a significant amount of trauma and heartache. In part, I am hiking to process through those experiences. However, that is not the whole story. I am hiking to grow, to remind myself that there is more to life than what meets the eye, and to live life to its fullest.
I know this quote is used often, but I believe Henry David Thoreau put it best when he stated, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Thank you, Henry, for singlehandedly giving us the perfect explanation for why thru-hikes are a great idea!
Why Am I Blogging?
I am blogging to share my story with as many people as possible. I am writing for myself to process the past, to memorialize the present, and to hope for the future. But I am also writing for you. I hope my story and experiences can help you overcome the struggles you face. And yes, I also hope to inspire you to run away to the woods. I won’t deny it.
Why Should You Follow Along?
- Because I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of my newbie mistakes (i.e., not bringing a map on my shakedown hike. Stay tuned for the next blog post.).
- I want to give you a raw taste of my experience on the trail, including the good, the bad, and the muddy.
- Since I am a personal trainer and lover of all things fitness, I will be sharing content on nutrition, recovery, and injury prevention on the trail.
- You just might find yourself wanting to get off the couch and into the woods as well.
Photo courtesy of Leah Rachel.
www.Leah-Rachel.com | Insta @leahrachelphoto
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