Notebook

I was living a comfy-but-unfulfilling life in 2015 when I met my first thru-hikers, my heralds, my calls to action. They said it was "never too late," and even though I didn't think I was too close to death's door, I saw they had a point. So nine months later I quit my job, put my furniture in my parents' basement, and started my NOBO thru-hike, which, when a stress fracture grounded me 675 miles later, turned into a LASH. But the trail taught me what I needed to know about myself, which is that although I will never like lashing rainstorms on mountainsides, I can survive them. This fact gave me the courage to start a freelance life, one that is breathtakingly more authentic than the one I had before. If you're on the fence, leap. If you want to read more of my writing, check out www.mathinacalliope.com Hugs, Notebook.

Posts

Sharing Thru-Hiking’s Power with a Nonhiking Audience

Sharing Thru-Hiking’s Power with a Nonhiking Audience

Sometimes it takes a long time to make meaning from dramatic events in our lives. I got off the trail fifteen months ago with a broken foot, not

Sep 20, 2017 : Notebook
6 Ways a Thru-Hike Is a Hero’s Journey

6 Ways a Thru-Hike Is a Hero’s Journey

Maybe you don’t feel heroic out there, but make no mistake, a thru-hike is as epic an undertaking as any ancient tale. Joseph Campbell, the

Jul 26, 2017 : Notebook
The Single Thing I Wish I’d Known Before My Thru-Hike That Nobody Told Me

The Single Thing I Wish I’d Known Before My Thru-Hike That Nobody Told Me

One evening, damp and full of anguish, I arrive at a shelter and basically fall apart. I can't believe—I'm, like, refusing to accept—that there is no

Jan 17, 2017 : Notebook
Sleeping with Strangers: Part 1

Sleeping with Strangers: Part 1

Oh, hi, class of 2018! Notebook here. Congratulations on your decision to take the plunge and make a thru-hike attempt! That took a lot of

Dec 22, 2016 : Notebook
Timing Quitting Failing … Winning?

Timing Quitting Failing … Winning?

A few days before I was set to run the Marine Corps Marathon in 2011, my cousin, Ken, flew out to D.C from Chicago to join me for the race. All

Sep 27, 2016 : Notebook
On Purity

On Purity

We had finished dinner at a restaurant in my hometown, my girlfriend and I, and she was listening with wide eyes to my trail tales—the bear ones

Sep 13, 2016 : Notebook
The Waiting Place

The Waiting Place

You don’t start a thru hike casually. The parts of your life you have to move or put on hold are just too big. You end a lease, quit a job. You leave

Aug 25, 2016 : Notebook
5 Things I Got Wrong About Hiking the AT—and 2 I Got Right

5 Things I Got Wrong About Hiking the AT—and 2 I Got Right

What I Got Wrong 1. Because I’m a woman I won’t lose weight. On day hikes before I planned my own thru-hike, I encountered male and female

Aug 24, 2016 : Notebook
They Say It’s the People; They’re Right

They Say It’s the People; They’re Right

This one time, at Fontana Village, back in early May, I was hanging out by myself in the lower level of the lodge when I heard the door open behind

Aug 18, 2016 : Notebook
It Doesn’t Take Much to Make a Hiker Happy

It Doesn’t Take Much to Make a Hiker Happy

I'm still off trail healing up my foot; this post describes one evening in June. As odd as are a lot of the situations in which you find yourself

Aug 16, 2016 : Notebook