I have two blogs: ThruHikeR for all my hiking thoughts and trailingthoughtsblog for all the other stuff floating around in my head; I like to keep the the serious business of my AT thru-hike plans separate from the superfluous daily-life thoughts. Both sites are WP and I’ve notice, regardless from which site I comment on another’s post (or use Daily Prompt) the default site to which any responses are directed is the hiking site. It’s a little confusing to me and I imagine -perhaps- to others, if they care to notice but I don’t have the AI (artificial intelligence) nor the inclination to investigate and/or correct this. Just an FYI to any readers out there.
This post is going to encompass a little of both of my worlds.
I just (well, 24 hours ago) finished my ‘work week’ and I am now on LifeTime vs WorkTime. The first few hours of my ‘day’ off begins with going to bed after my 7P-7A shifts. The first day off is my TransitionDay which usually encompasses about 5 hours of sleep followed by a few hours in ZombieMode followed by an ambien & a melatonin and, hopefully, a full-night’s sleep (but I usually wake in the early morning hours even with the sleep-aids). If I’ve done 48-60 hours of work in a five-day period vs the typical 36, well, I sleep almost 24 hours before I’m really awake, that makes my second ‘day’ off the TransitionDay and it’s a bit surreal; I’m not quite fully in either world.
That’s where I am today.
I spend my LifeTime usually thinking about, planning for, reading about or doing actual hiking. In actuality, I spend quite a bit of my WorkTime thinking about and planning hiking also. I haven’t done much actual hiking in a very long time because I’m obsessed with thinking and planning and reading. When I am at work, the thru-hike seems very real and very do-able. No hesitation, no questioning my choice. When I’m on my own time I start to second guess if this is really the wise thing to do – as much as I desire to do nothing but “get away” for awhile. Clearly I am running away from my job and, to a lesser extent, my life.
What makes doing the AT thru-hike seem a very practical choice for me is reading the autobiographical accounts of those who are currently hiking or who have thru-hiked the AT already. I’ve not heard from one source that it was a ‘bad idea’ or that they regretted it. On the contrary, all those who have hiked the AT…especially those who reached their goal of completing the journey – claim it was the best thing they ever did, “life-changing” I believe is the theme. Many say they want to do it again in the reverse order or some go on to other trails such as the PCT, CDT or the John Muir Trail. When I am having my doubts, I reflect on these accounts and this: you can’t reach your goal if you never take the first step, you’ll never know if you don’t try & what have you got to lose? I’m sure everyone who quits their job, leaves home with all their possessions in a backpack and climbs those first few steps at the trailhead has some jitters along with the eager anticipation.
Anyway, that’s where I am right now, plugging along at my job and with each and every minute thinking of NOT doing my job but breathing fresh air and enjoying a freedom that I’ve never had (not even in childhood, but that’s a whole ‘other story). I know it won’t be easy but I tell myself that during those times on the AT I will then remind myself; you might be cold, wet, hot, sweaty, hungry, achy, tired and otherwise miserable but you’re not at work!!
Thank you Phil for commenting/inquiring. You are my prompt for today’s post 🙂
On another note, I took advantage of REI’s Labor Day sale and bought some ‘trail runner’ shoes (there’s no way I will be “running” on the trail. Not only would I break something and be off-trail but, even if I could run with a backpack, it would end the joy of the journey too soon) and a Deuter 30 +10 backpack. I’m not sure I like the pack or if it’s big enough and the shoes feel confining after wearing sandals all summer but I need to trial them both and see. REI takes returns or exchanges which is why I went that route.