I don’t always spend everyday thinking about how exciting or amazing a thru hike will be. I’m not always scanning the web for the latest and greatest new gear. Some days, a sense of sadness consumes my thoughts. Whether it’s because I have family that is worried for my safety, loved ones that can’t imagine being without me for 6 months, or even just the idea of missing my cats for so long. I have real feelings that I’m sure every hiker must go through whether they want to admit to it or not.
The whole point of my blog is to share my real life feelings about my thru hike. During every stage, I promise to always be real with the people following me. With many of the blogs I follow (of current and past thru hikers), the thing that I admire more than anything is when I read about their honest and true feelings. I’m sure the sights and sounds are amazing. I don’t doubt that lasting friendships will be made and a new sense of self-worth that will be achieved. But to be fair, there will be times when it down right sucks. Dealing with the elements, loneliness (and times you wish you could be alone), personal hygiene, and an array of other issues probably consume their thoughts just as much, if not more. But if a person is going to agree to purse such an enormous feat, then they have to take the good with the bad. There must be balance.
As much as I feel for the people in my life that will be affected by my choices, I also ask them to understand how I will be affected if I don’t get the chance to at least try to accomplish this epic quest. The very idea of this hike has become apart of who I currently am. I feel like I would be cheating myself if I gave in and didn’t go through with it. I hope to finish; but even if I don’t, I will be more disappointed if I don’t even get the chance to try. I have to do this for me and I truly don’t expect anyone else to fully understand.
So if I’m scared or sad one day when talking about my journey, please don’t try to discourage me, instead I hope that you will support me. Even during the lowest days, if I know that I have the love and support of the people who are most important in my life, then I will be able to push on.
*On a cheesy, side note: I just finished watching the animated movie Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (yes the one about the horses, and yes I know I’m a 36-year-old grown woman). This movie has an awesome sound track done by Bryan Adams and the beginning and ending songs really touched me (ok so I was “emotional” watching the journey this animated horse had). The lyrics kind of describe the life cycle of my up coming personal quest. I just thought I would share them here.
Opening song: This is Where I Belong
I hear the wind across the plain
A sound so strong – that calls my name
It’s wild like the river – it’s warm like the sun
Ya it’s here – this is where I belong
Under the starry skies – where eagles have flown
This place is paradise – it’s the place I call home
The moon on the mountains
The whisper through the trees
The waves on the water
Let nothing come between this and me
Cuz everything I want – is everything that’s here
And when we’re all together – there’s nothing to fear
And wherever I wander – the one thing I’ve learned
It’s to here – I will always….always return
Closing song: I will Always Return
I hear the wind call my name
It’s a sound that leads me home again
It sparks up a fire, a flame that still burns
To you, I will always return
I know the road is long – but where you are is home
Wherever you stay – I’ll find the way
I’ll run like the river – I’ll follow the sun
I’ll fly like an eagle – to where I belong
I can’t stand the distance – I can’t dream alone
I can’t wait to see you – yes I’m on my way home
Now I know it’s true – my every road leads to you
And in the hour of darkness – your light gets me through
You run like the river – you shine like the sun
Yeah you fly like an eagle – you are the one
I’ve seen every sunset, and with all that I’ve learned
Oh, it’t to you, I will always…always return