Yoyoing…but not that kind of yoyoing.

Usually, in thruhiking culture, a “yoyo” refers to a hike that traverses the length of a trail and then, upon reaching the end of the trail, the hiker turns around and hikes the entire length of the trail again, going in the opposite direction.

For this hiker, yoyoing is a little different.

When your body tells you, “Something’s gotta give”

I am home. Again.

I felt pretty good leaving last Thursday to get back on the Trail. Definitely not 100%, but well enough that I thought I could give it a go. I slackpacked for two days, hiking 8 miles and 10 miles. Everything in my left side hurt again: hip, back, leg, and foot. It was like nothing had changed or improved.

Slackpacking perks: fun daypacks!

For the second time in 3 weeks, I have had to make the tough decision to get off the Trail. This isn’t exactly doing wonders for my morale over here.

Luckily, I haven’t really had travel expenses for this trip back and forth from Virginia to Ohio. My mom and sister were driving to Florida, so they dropped me off in VA. My older sister was driving from D.C. to Louisville, so she picked me up when I decided to bail again. And my dad is driving back from Kansas, so he will get me the rest of the way to Ohio. You’d think we planned this.


My heart. It feels like it’s on a string and being yanked between home and the Trail like a yoyo.
Home is great, but I want to finish this Trail, too. To finish this thruhike. It is frustrating that I can’t put in the miles I want to, and I can’t even put in decent miles with a full pack without eventually limping along in pain. Not to mention the trail in Shenandoah NP is probably one of the easiest sections. It is also doubly hard to keep my mind focused on finishing the Trail when I keep getting thrown off track.

Last night though, as I was lying in my own bed, I was able to reflect on life as a thruhiker. I realized I have a ton of junk at home that I don’t need. In all of the traveling over the weekend, as I was trying to block out the hundreds of city lights, I realized I miss the peace and quiet and darkness in the woods. As someone asked me for the umpteenth time if I was hiking by myself, I realized I actually bristled in indignation more strongly than ever before because I have hiked almost 1300 miles solo so far with no problems.

There is definitely something to be said for this lifestyle. And even as I struggle to convince myself that I will get back out there, I know I will as long as my back cooperates.

I am not sure how long I will be off Trail this time. I saw a chiropractor again this morning and he sounded hopeful about getting me back out there, though! Apparently the left side of my pelvis is lower than the right side, so if I get something for my shoe to lift up my left heel, that should help everything to stay aligned. Or something like that. I have another appointment on Thursday to go over the X-rays so that should give me a clearer picture.

More updates to come!

Another beautiful morning in Shenandoah National Park.

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Comments 8

  • Dennis criddle : Aug 22nd

    Mary, we are hoping you have a quick recovery and will be able to get back on the trail soon. Our prayers are with you.

    • Brenda Williams : Aug 22nd

      cheering for you Mary! This journey may not be A typical, but it is your journey and we have to trust His divine direction and timing! Love you sis, keep the faith!

      • Mary Meixner : Aug 23rd

        Thanks, sis! Love ya!

    • Mary Meixner : Aug 23rd

      Thanks, Dennis!

  • lorrie hess : Aug 23rd

    1300 is a lot of miles. I’ve been reading your posts and hoping all goes well for you. You are strong and sensible and I believe you will find the right balance and find a way to finish your journey.

    • Mary Meixner : Aug 23rd

      Thanks for reading, and thanks for your support, Lorrie!

  • Judy and Michael White : Aug 23rd

    As someone whose hipbones are at slightly different angles, I know how that gets reflected in legs, knees, & feet, and causes problems over time. Correcting that angle with an orthotic of some kind seems as if it might do the trick. How sensible of you to stop before you do damage… though I hear your frustration. At least you are sure learning patience!

    • Mary Meixner : Aug 23rd

      Thanks for reading! Your words are encouraging!


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