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 Hugs, Notebook. Twitter: @mathinacalliope IG: mathinacalliope