So, yeah- I’m one of those idiots who watched “Wild” , got inspired and decided to make thru hiking something ( hopefully the AT ) a bucket list goal..
Yeah, I know- sounds ludicrous ,right? But consider that I have also been a competitive rock climber, gotten my auto mechanics license( as a female), white water Kayaked, trained as a Body builder, gone spelunking, parasailing, hot air ballooning and bungee jumped. I’ve been married & divorced 3 times, had 2 kids, lived on the streets, been through several physically abusive relationships, been alcoholic, and even gotten my motorcycle license ( though I never used it). And I could write a book on all the death defying stunts I’ve pulled in life and situations I’ve survived.I am what they call “small, but fierce”.
Would I be a good hiker? I have no idea. But, as they say, it’s about the journey and not the destination. As I sift through hundreds of documentaries, articles, blogs, books and other information as I casually plan a thru hike in about 2 years, I constantly doubt myself:
“What about my bunions, back pain and allergies?”
“How will I ever be able to afford it and/or quit my job?”
“I am so short, how will I overcome certain situations if I am alone?”
“What if I become paralyzed with fear at the worst possible moment?”
“Maybe I am too old, out of shape, and stupid to do this”
But, worst of all:
“What if I FAIL?”
I will say this– they say you cannot prepare for a thru hike. I’ve heard it over & over. But I have to disagree(sort of). I don’t mean the physical part( many senior citizens, young children, overweight persons and first timers out there) or the “itinerary”( which most state they throw out the 1stday)- I agree with all that well enough and understand it. But- I have to stand firm that looking at your proposed route ahead of time and gobbling up as much insight as you can before the actual start date is extremely helpful. I have learned so much in such a short time already- gear I never knew about or even dreamed of, potential injuries and illnesses, wildlife issues( bears, insects & snakes) and, especially, watching the emotional ups & downs of actual hikers on the trail in real time- I cannot even begin to describe how much this has changed my perspective over & over. As I watch the literal MISERY, pain, fear and hardships I take in the potential realities of the goal and constantly re-assess . I watch all three of the triple crown hike videos from many varied hikers. Usually , I’ll see something like Grizzlies, rattlesnakes, hip deep snow, and swarms of mosquitoes.. along with twisted ankles, giardia symptoms, and ledges along downhill slides that look like Olympic skiing spots and I start thinking “no way, this is stupid.. I could NEVER deal with that…”. Then I will allow it to settle in and I go back for another round of tales , trials and tribulations anyway. To me, this is a little mental prep- way before the actual trip.
The thing is, I have faced real life every single day for 52 plus years and I am still alive. I look back often and remember many truly scary and life threatening things I have survived. Things that I did NOT chose, things that I would never want to go through again, and things that NO ONE would want to experience. So, really…is planning a thru hike- potentially inspiring and soul altering, something many actually WANT to do and choose, and would do again if they could—a bad thing? I think not.
If I get in my car and drive on dangerous highways daily and live ,walk and play in a high crime area, & regularly go to places I don’t know at all( and alone at that)…why would I hesitate to drive to a trail head, hike for 6 months, and experience the natural wonders with a MUCH lower danger level than those things I do without batting an eyelash? Even with all the potential scariness or miserable-as-hell stories, I deal with much worse, much more often and don’t have a snowballs chance in Hades of getting the potential rewards. So, there’s my rational .
Worst case scenario, I train and get in shape…buy cool equipment , save money and then decide not to do it anyway…and that’s ok. Because I will still be healthier, have that cool stuff( which I can sell or use other times), have learned a ton just in researching the whole thing and extra money to use for something elseJ
I say, it’s a Win/Win!
P.s.- I believe I already have a fitting trail name, or will be given it shortly after beginning.. which I will own-“Flatulence”- hey- it is what it is…lmao!
3 thoughts on “To Do, or Not to DO….”
Always enjoyed the journey better than the destination!
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Yes that’s the perfect hiking name hahaha. Mine would be “is that a horse?”
I’m so proud of you and can’t wait to watch this journey you’re on and hopefully be able to share some of it with you.
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aww….i love you..! ty!