In life you may not think about what causes you to make the choices you do, at least not often and in depth. Not the little choices. Why an iced mocha in December? Why did you wait to get gas? Those choices were simple, because the iced mocha is your favorite morning drink despite the fact it’s below freezing outside or that you have enough gas to make it home. These choices happen easily and without much thought. It is when you make big choices that you are able to realize there was a catalyst behind it.
Just two months ago I had one of those moments, the one where you go “ah ha!” and decide to sing from the rooftops (which I didn’t much to the relief of any bystanders), in my case post it on Facebook. I decided I needed change, change which would take me away from the daily routine and frustrations I was finding in my life. I decided I was going to hike the Appalachian Trail (AT). The decision everyone makes when they feel there is a need to mix it up. Initially I was only aware of one catalyst, the change in my current relationship (or lack there of), but as I really started to THINK about why I wanted to hike the AT I came to understand it was a large group of things that had all happened in a brief period of time; I had lost a dear friend after a long battle with brain cancer, I tore my ACL, my relationship had ended, I’d gone on an adventure, I was stuck in a rut.
Now for anyone who is familiar with the AT they realize this is no small endeavor. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the AT let me give you a quick insight. The AT is a trail the runs through the eastern side of the US. It is over 2180 miles long and passes through 14 states, starting in GA and ending in ME. There are a between 1,800 – 2,000 people who attempt it each year and only about a quarter of those people complete it. Needless to say this is no small potatoes.
I have spent many an hour researching and talking with people about what I’m going to be taking on in a year. Some people look at me blankly and nod, others (and these are the ones I am eternally grateful for) jump on the bandwagon with me and share in my excitement and learning. My family, and don’t get me wrong I love my family and they love me, has neither stared at me blankly nor have they joined me in my excitement. I can only imagine that they see this as just one more of my momentary lapses in judgment and a dream that won’t come to fruition. I hope they enjoy hearing about the AT and my plans because they have an entire year of it ahead of them.