Here comes four separate states in one post.
As with the tag above, these past four states have drained my courage, patience, drive, and ability to see how far I would want to walk. The world seemed to only be about hiking, and it showed in my attitude. Having fun with the fellow hiking friends wouldn’t cure the “slacker disease” I was admittedly infected with. Taking a few days (or more) off with friends In NY was so darn fun, necessary, and generous beyond belief, but it didn’t prove me wanting more miles to hike.
I’m surprised anyone even wanted to walk with such a sour faced guy, but I kept meeting folks to hike with regardless of my mental state. Chores upon chores every day, thousands of feet in elevation, miles and miles to go, a routine that turned into something I remember high school homework giving me… anxiety paired with professional procrastination. “Oh, if I just give the day seven miles, that’s alright?? Alright. Seven miles it is.” When I could probably push my body to fifteen or more. Ugh. I started feeling depressed again… why??? Why do the ups and downs of my attitude have to exist? Why can’t I just enjoy this amazing phenomenon that I probably won’t experience ever again, unless I become senile and do it all over again. If I do attempt another thru-hike, please, I put it out to all that have read this, it’s all your fault! (Just kidding. I’m never going to attempt this again.)
Looking back on all of these photos that I choose to post, and even the ones that I don’t, it all looks so wonderful. It all looks so incredibly fantastic that you’d think I was copywriting an advertising campaign for the trail itself (let’s disregard the ones with my face!). Then I read what I’ve written and it sounds like a whiny kid trying to get out of cleaning up their room. As if I haven’t hiked almost 890 miles of the trail that I wanted to complete since I was a little kid in the scouts; introduced to camping by my parents; hiking with my friends over the years. Phew, and then I put you, the reader through all of that! What kind of host does that? Well… I do wear my heart on my sleeve, and currently in New Jersey, it’s bleeding pretty red.
Let’s lighten the mood. I made it to New Jersey. I couldn’t believe it. I’m currently ~30 miles from PA, but that’s two days of hiking. I’m coming out of that funk. That weird mind game of “what the eff am I doing and why did I ever choose to do such an insane thing with my mind and body?” Want to know what has helped the most? Family support (including Mr. Mulroy, and Mr. & Mrs. Belani in NY), and oddly enough, hiking more. “What the heck is this trail all about” I keep asking myself. I don’t have an answer, but I have learned about myself more than I would have ever imagined. At least enough to fill an internet post apparently.
See you in PA.