Some of you may have read my post over at TheTrek.co – and I want to express more of the personal reasons why I am no longer attempting to be a “thru-hiker” and why I may or may not be on the trail.
Ian and I are not just husband + wife. We are a team, companions, partners in the game of life. We have a vision for our future- what we want in life and what we hope to accomplish. I could not have asked for a better supporter to see me through my goal of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail.
I never believed much in true love, soul mates, or marrying your best friend. I was not surrounded by examples such as these growing up, and I believed they were things that existed only in romance movies. Then I met Ian. We started meeting other couples who provided examples we wanted to emulate in our own relationship- love, respect, strength, partnership.
It was around this point that I came to two realizations. First, LOVE YOURSELF. It is really difficult to give others love if you don’t know how to love yourself (and you deserve to be loved- be your own biggest fan!) Second, we attract what we put out into the world. Like love. Our relationship has brought us friendship with couples who we look to as examples for our relationship. Good energy is contagious, and bad energy is poison. If we put our best foot forward to be good people, good partners and friends, to be open and honest with ourselves, our loved ones, and the world, we will attract more of the same. Those are the people we want around us.
My time on the trail gave me plenty of time to consider these ideas, to ponder who and what I want in my life. It didn’t take long to realize that being a thru-hiker was not my real goal. My goal is to appreciate nature, to spend more time outdoors, to nourish my body with exercise, good food, and fresh air. I want to spend more time with loved ones, eat well, play hard, and crush life. I want to attack goals, with Ian by my side. I want to hike, the Appalachian Trail, the PCT, any trail, with family and friends (not exclusively, but it’s more fun that way).
This does not mean my AT trek is over- I am still going- but it is evolving. I’m going to be off-trail much more often, visiting friends, enjoying time with family. I am okay with being just an AT Hiker, and not a “thru-hiker.” Thanks to Maine, for helping me realize there are so many more important things to conquer.