My Reasons for Hiking The Appalachian Trail

Why Am I hiking the Appalachian Trail?

The Appalachian Trail is a unique experience for self-growth in the face of adversity.  Personally, I seek to achieve improvement in three areas, which I will post about on a regular basis during my trek.  The big three I am referring to are The Body, The Mind, and The Soul.  The Body is the physical aspect of who I am.  The Mind is my mental state.  Finally, The Soul refers to what makes me who I am, and is the embodiment of my ideals.  In most religions this is seen as one’s essence which is eternal and undying.  Below I will touch on the points of each of these categories that I find intriguing.  Additionally, I will list the more specific reasons and things I want to change in my life.

The Body

  1. The AT is a unique chance to build strength and endurance like no other training regimen can offer.
  2. I love a physical challenge, and can’t think of anything more rigorous than a trek through the mountains for several months.
  3. I want to test the limits of what I am capable of overcoming.
  4. Upon my return my goal is to run a marathon. (I doubt that will be a problem with legs of steel)
  5. Finally, I know that I should take on this task while I am young and able.

The Mind

  1. The AT is a physical challenge, but is even more so a mental challenge.
  2. I want to test my resolve as a person to see whether I can weather the obstacles before me.
  3. Mental toughness is far more valuable to me than physical fitness.  (Your body may scream no, but your mind can keep you moving)
  4. Upon completing the AT I will look at future obstacles and not be intimidated due to the fact that I know just how much I can handle.

The Soul

  1. I am not a religious person.  I do not believe in the institution of church, nor do I have firm belief of what path is the right to take.  However, I believe in the core values of many religions and hope to bring more of these positive ideals into my life.
  2. In my mind, the body is a temple, and it should be cherished.  I will use the time away from society to consider what is important to me.
  3. In order to know more about Christianity, I will be reading a version of The Bible from cover to cover.  This is important to me, because I know that I should not accept nor discard anything without truly knowing what it is about.  I was raised in the church, but as I grew older went away from it.  However, as an adult I would like to truly explore my spirituality and make decisions for myself on what I believe.
  4. I believe that nature is spiritual in itself and becoming close to it has an incredibly positive effect on a person.  I hope to channel some of the energy it provides to promote my well-being.
  5. The AT provides an ample amount of time for self-reflection.  I will take advantage of this and seek to make changes to my life for the better.


I firmly believe that the person I walk into the woods as will be vastly different than the one coming out.  There are several aspects of my life which I know could use some work aside from the three categories that I listed above.  I will list a few of the characteristics, that I either hope to lose or attain through this journey, below.  I hope to…

  1. Become less critical and more accepting of the actions of others.
  2. Gain patience, even under the worst circumstances.
  3. Become more mindful of my surroundings, and go out of my way to notice things.
  4. Be more understanding of other people’s emotions and thought processes.
  5. Ensure that I take nothing for granted and go out of my way to be thankful for what I have.
  6. Be able to communicate with others better than I currently do.
  7. Make those around me proud of who I am.
  8. Inspire others to achieve and do great things.
  9. Follow the path that I lay out for myself, on my terms.
  10. Have a strict moral code that I stand by no matter what

I could continue on with this list for days, but these are some of the most critical components of what I hope to gain through my trek on the AT.  I hope that upon my return you will all see me in a new light, as I will surely see the world.

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Comments 2

  • KC : Mar 5th

    Hi Tyler,

    I like your definitive points; mind, body and soul – yes, that’s what it’s all about. I also appreciate your Bible reading – funny, I downloaded a copy on my (phone) Kindle app. also. I haven’t read the Bible in a long while and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity with a clear head and “schedule” to reacquaint myself with The Word.
    Happy Trails

  • Gunslinger : Mar 6th

    Great goals Tyler! Wish you the best of luck and God’s speed on your journey! There is no doubt you will be transformed by the adventure. Hope to keep up with your travels as you write along the way…All the best…Slinger


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