earthtrekblog

Adventures of Life

Why would anyone hike 2,189 miles?

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I did it… I watched WILD!

I’m unsure how to sum up my concept of the movie, so I will do my best.  I’d been trying to set up a time to go with friends.  Things just kept getting pushed out and pushed out and suddenly we were looking at a single show time on the last day in a local theater and it meant I HAD to go and I was going solo.wild-cheryl-strayed-canon_ph

As I sat there in the theater watching Cheryl Strayed, aka Reese Witherspoon, scream into the wilderness, I understood what was going through her mind, and I recognized what is in store for me in the months to come.  As the pain of memories overwhelmed her, pushing her to come to terms with herself, with her life, tears ran freely down my cheeks.  The trail changes you – I haven’t gotten there yet but I know.  It’s true, many of the people who head to the trail have a reason.  I know I do.

I’m so grateful for the people I have met in my life.  Those who ask me to look inward at myself, to really question who I am and what I am about.  It is easy to answer the generic questions about why I’m involved in the work I do.  I work with kids because I want to make a difference and I want to learn from them and appreciate their youthful energy and innocence.  We forget as adults how to take pleasure by letting our emotions run wild.  The youthful exuberance over success, the frustration of being ignored by peers, the joy of discovering something new, these things fuel me and remind me to see things through their young eyes.   These are the easy things to answer.  The tough one.  Why am I hiking?   To escape.  To grow.  To gain respect for myself.  To be self reliant.  To challenge myself.  To trust myself.  To live a dream.

I will be challenging myself on so many different levels, Physically, mentally and emotionally.  When most people ask what inspired me to hike the AT I give the safe answer, I tore my ACL a year and a half ago and I wanted a goal to work towards.  Usually this is greeted with gasps of awe and gentle encouragement to be careful and have fun.  It is an easy answer with a strong effect.  Rarely do I tell the other part of “why”.  That I needed to escape.  I’d lost too many things in a short period of time and I needed an out.
1)  The loss of my dear friend and “little big brother,” Paul, to a brain tumor after a year long battle.
2) The end of a serious relationship, one which helped support me when things with Paul were at their worst.  One where I was firmly reminded that it’s okay to ask for help, especially when there are people who want to give it.
3) Lastly, the icing on the cake, the loss of my mobility, the knee injury was a physical blow but also an emotional one.  I found myself in a state of depression, happiest when closed in my room watching movies and snuggling with my dog.

So this is “why” I am hiking the AT.  I want the time the trail will provide to look inside and understand where I am going.  I want to come back from the trail understanding how to move beyond my history without burying it.  I want to share my knowledge and experiences with the youth, so full of their own pure energy.

Got this sleeve for Paul.  Each type of flower represents something about him.  The purple Clematis is ingenuity  and art.

Got this sleeve for Paul. Each type of flower represents something about him. The purple Clematis is ingenuity and art.

I have exposed myself to the world.  There is no more hiding behind simple answers and half truths.  I have a journey ahead of me and it starts now!

Thank you THE HONEST KITCHEN for your sponsorship!!!  Star was very excited to receive yet another package just for her!  (Skiddy Kitty really wanted in on it but he was denied).

The Honest Kitchen package arrived!!! Skiddy wanted some too!

The Honest Kitchen package arrived!!!
Skiddy wanted some too!

 

So far Star is winning the Sponsorship gig!  She has received two sponsorships and I have only gained one…  Thank you “Good to Go” for your support of my journey!
Again MY WISH LIST can be found at Amazon.com under Erin AT Tuveson or follow the link below (P.S. you cannot do these from a mobile device).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/?ie=UTF8&cid=AVGLIVOVHZ5BA

Dehydrated meals made local to me!

Dehydrated meals made local to me!

3 thoughts on “Why would anyone hike 2,189 miles?

  1. I am so rooting for you!

  2. Hey Erin, thanks for the follow! I relate to lots of what you’ve said here and hope to see you on the trail. Congratulations on the sponsorships and hope you enjoy your journey!

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