Whoa, people are actually reading this

“Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.” -Brian Tracy

atmap

I found this map on another blog and couldn’t resist pulling it over to mine.

I started this blog just as a way to record my thoughts as I move through this coming year of planning for the A.T. I know it’s a public blog, but I kind of didn’t expect anyone to look at it. Glad I didn’t post any compromising photos of myself. I also didn’t expect that there are other blogs out there, written by people just like me, and that we’ll see each other’s tags and be able to follow along on each other’s journeys.

I’ve already discovered Appalachian Trials facebook and blog and have gained courage and inspiration from them. In fact, it inspired me not only to hike the A.T. but to write about my experience also. It doesn’t matter if I write well. Of course I do. When we share ourselves and our passions, it inspires others.

 

 

Why Hike The A.T.?

I read that question on a forum recently, that we should ask ourselves that question. I don’t know about everyone else but I have about 100 reasons and depending on the day, one will be more important than another. So here’s an unnumbered list in no special order except as they’ve come to mind.

Why not? Because it’s there. How can I call myself a hiker if I’ve never even set foot on the Appalachian Trail? I have nothing else to do next summer. I’ve never hiked in that part of the country. I’m fascinated to see the new flora and fauna. For the cultural experience. I drove through Shenandoah National Park several years ago and I told myself then that I’d like to come back and hike it. I always need a challenge. I love to hike and hike and hike and . . . . It’s a long trail that I can hike without support. PCT, CT and CDT all require long hikes out to towns to resupply. Many support systems have evolved along the A.T. I need a challenge. To be a hero, at least in my own mind. To help me to come out of my shell and write. Because I promised myself when I returned from traveling abroad that I wanted to explore the US on foot as I had done in other places. I can hike as short or as long as I desire. 2,200 miles? I doubt it, but . . . maybe. We’ll see. 150 miles? 500 miles? 1000 miles? We’ll see, we’ll see . . . .

For now I’m happy with planning. That’s as much fun as the trip itself. Another reason to hike the A.T. I get a lot of pleasure out of looking at maps, checking distances, planning food and campsites, looking at pictures and reading blogs. I think sometimes that even if I don’t step foot on the physical trail I could still be happy. Though, I must believe as I plan that it will happen, and barring unforeseen events, it will.

 

And So It Begins . . . . .

“Do not go gentle into that good night
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” ~ Dylan Thomas

I definitely need a goal in life to keep me engaged. Right now I’m circling in on it. It’s many pronged. I long to do a long-distance hike and have chosen the Appalachian Trail as the target. I am, after all, a hiker and a walker, and how can I call myself a hiker in these days if I’ve never set foot on the A.T.?

I awoke around 1am last night feeling a lot of anxiety. I’ve developed this anxiety around my breathing, like if I don’t pay attention to it I’ll stop. Like, I constantly feel as if I can’t get a deep breath and I must constantly take deep breaths until my breath ‘catches.’ Then I get this creepy anxiety feeling in my body. Icky and awful.

I met a man outside the grocery store yesterday as I was leaving. He was about my age and pushing one of those walkers with a seat, and he was moving along fast even though his body was barely functional. I commented on how fast he was moving. He told me that he has Parkinson’s Disease and that he used to be a jogger. “I could still jog,” he said, “but it’s my balance that’s gone.” We talked for a few more minutes then went our separate ways.

I love meeting extraordinary people. He’ll never know how much that short conversation affected me. May I also greet whatever life gives me with such extraordinary strength and acceptance.IMG_1175