Nothing’s Promised

This April I will be attempting my first ever thru hike. My trail of choice: The Appalachian Trail. The “AT” is a 2,100 mile trail stretching from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mount Kahtadin, Maine. Each year thousands of people from all different walks of life attempt to complete this journey, with each individual having their own reason(s) to do so. I have never done any backpacking before and this is by far the most “out of my comfort zone” experience I will have ever embarked on in my 24 years of life.

As my start date gets near, I find myself thinking about why I’m doing this. Why am I leaving the comforts and luxuries of my current life to live in the woods carrying everything I need on my back for 6 months? Ive read that it’s important for you to have a “why” for you to remember on the days that you want to give up, whether it be from the mental exhaustion, or you’re sick of being wet, cold, hungry, and sore. For me, I have 3 “whys” that will make me keep fighting no matter what until I’m standing on the summit of Mt. Kahtadin.

  1. Set. Believe. Achieve. I have always heard the saying “you can do anything you set your mind to”, but I have never actually set my mind to something and done it. I have set my goal to complete my thru hike, now it’s time to believe in the process and do whatever it takes for me to achieve my goal. I want to feel the empowerment of knowing that nothing is impossible if you truly want it and for me, I believe walking from Georgia to Maine will instill that in me for the rest of my life.
  2. Trust. I have felt an overpowering energy to hike this trail for a couple of years now. It’s as if the AT is calling me and I need to go see what it has to say, all the way from beginning to end. When I have days that I want to quit, I know I need to have full trust in this process because its ultimately going to take me to where I need to be.
  3. Nothing is promised. This is probably what will keep me moving the most. I have dealt with hardships in the past, but until recently I haven’t felt the intense realization that life as you know it can change in a second. One moment you can have everything you could ever dreamed of and the next it can be all gone. I am blessed to be able to be setting out on this journey and I will not take one second for granted.
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37 thoughts on “Nothing’s Promised

  1. GOOD LUCK!! Lol – fatten up first. A buddy of mine at work did the full trail and dropped something like 20% of his body weight, and he didn’t have much extra to begin with. All the best with this, you can do it!

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  2. Thanks for the “like.” I admire anyone who attempts to hike this far at once. I’m surprised that you’ve never backpacked before, and tested the waters with a section hike. I did a 7-day hike (supposed to be 8 days) and couldn’t wait to get off. You’ve probably already heard it takes at least 3 weeks on the AT to reach prime hiking condition. Also, only 1/4 of those who start a thru-hike will finish. It’s very grueling, miserable, and can be lonely, especially at the start. The good news is that so many people are hiking it now, you’ll have many companions and social opportunities. I wish you good luck. At Addis Gap in Georgia, make a right down the graveled fire road. My campsite is a half-mile down on the left, by the stream, in the poison ivy.

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  3. Good for you! I’ve not done a thru hike, but I’ve spent copious time on the trail in Georgia, Carolina, and Virginia. It’s not easy, I promise you that. But, if you make it, you’ll never be the same. Good luck, man. I’ll be following along. Are you gonna try to post as you go? Lots of dead zones, of course, but you’ll run into places with connectivity.

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      1. Absolutely! Thru hiking it has been a bucket list item for me. You’re wise for doing it now, before life gets in the way. Honestly, I’m envious of your impending adventure. If I may offer one piece of advice, get your body in order before and take extra special care of your feet while on the trail. Otherwise, have a blast, even when you feel like you can’t make it through and it’s kicking your ass. 😃

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  4. I noticed you’ve been stopping by my blog now and again, especially my Pacific Crest Trail posts, and now I see why! It’s interesting that the AT calls to you like the PCT calls to me. I’ll be especially interested in reading about the Shenandoah part of the trail when you get there since that’s the part of the AT that calls to me.

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  5. I began my thru-hike of the AT in April of 2014. I think you will enjoy watching the dormant forest turn green before your eyes. The new life of spring was glorious to watch. May you enjoy every day of your adventure. I look forward to reading of your progress.

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