Wow. Time was moving so slow. March 15th felt like an eternity, and then all of a sudden...
In less than 4 months I will be setting out on the Appalachian Trail.
A lot has happened in these last few months..
I got an internship at a Marketing Agency in the Behavioral Research Dept. I've loved it and am excited to see what path this takes me in the future. The internship has given me something new to learn and focus my energy on. It has given me structure to my life, which I desperately crave. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work at such an amazing agency with such incredible people.
Things feel like they are moving faster than I can completely comprehend.
I have completely committed myself to the AT, but often I find myself terrified of the consequences. I am in a relationship and I worry about where my decision to hike for 6 months will ultimately leave us. I choose to think positively about it, and I know I can't sacrifice my dreams to remain safe, but many times I feel like it would just be a lot easier on everyone if I decided to stay.
I get super excited and sad all in one sweep of emotion. Why am I doing this?
I love putting myself in really hard positions. I do it consciously a lot, but I know I do this to myself without even realizing it either. I love stretching myself mentally and physically, teetering on the edge of breakdown, to stand firmly at the finish line. It's the thrill-seeker in me and the adventurer who always wants to push, push, push to new and exciting things. One of the things that draws me most to the trail is the hardships that I know I will have to endure; the mindless ups and downs of green tunnels and trees that never end, the temperatures below freezing and above 100, the blisters and bug bites and hunger and thirst and aches and fatigue. All of it sounds so appealing. But its more than just this.
I love the outdoors. I've always felt comfortable and a sense of unity and in the wildness of nature. I used to go camping and hiking with my mom and sister a lot as a kid and my mom always said it brought out the best in me and my sister. My mom would probably be able to explain it better than me, but I always loved the time I spent "away from it all".
I want to accomplish something truly GREAT. The idea that I can WALK from GA to ME on one continuous path is surreal. It's crazy and I'm not normal. I want to be one of the few percent who says they are going to thru-hike and actually finishes, hands raised high on Katahdin.
And these reasons are all great but it still doesn't fully explain why I want to do it. I don't think I fully know. I feel compelled. I have to go. And in less than 4 months I will do just that.