Take That Big Step

There are a few factors in my life that have made it easier for me to be able to do this. One, me and my wife havent leaped into the world of children yet so I havent got the issue of missing important steps in their lives.

Two, I have an extremely supportive wife who has stood by me in any decision I have made in my life.

Three, I am very lucky to work with a company who happened to see this as a positive and have kept my job open for when I get back 6 months later. This is just a bit of a cushion so I will not have the added pressure of finding a new job when I get home in the middle of easing my way back to the real world.

So as you can see I am in a good position to take on an adventure like The Appalachian Trail.

Saying this though, in my research and planning for my up and coming thru-hike I have read tons of literature, blogs and articles and the kind of people who take this challenge on come from all walks of life and I mean ALL.

I believe the oldest person to thru-hike so far is a man of 81 , the first woman to thru-hike was 67 in 1955 her name is Grandma Gatewood and she used to be the oldest female to hike the trail when she completed it a third time at the age of 75.

The youngest was a 6-year-old boy who did it with his family.

Two sisters did it Barefoot and Yoyo’d as in completed the trail one way over a period of time then turned around and went back the other, an amazing accomplishment.

An amazing chap named Bill Irwin is the only blind man to have ever completed a thru-hike of the AT.

I’ve heard of extremely unfit people taking it on and completely changing their lives around on the trail, loosing lbs and lbs as they went getting fitter and fitter and completing a thru-hike!

What I’m getting at here, is that I believe almost anyone, if they put their mind to it along with as I’m sure a lot of blood, sweat and tears, although hopefully less of the blood, I believe almost anyone if they dream of doing a thru-hike they SHOULD do a thru-hike! Don’t waste time questioning it too much, just live your life get out there and do it.

I know what you’re saying, hang on a minute, you havent even done yours yet and you are totally right but, like a family member said to me last night ‘What you have achieved already, is pretty special, you have made that step and it’s a big step that a lot of people wouldn’t take and said, I’m going to do this, you have told your work, your friends, your family, this is what I’m doing and followed through and made plans booked your flights you are on your way, and that in itself is a big achievement’! Thanks for that you know who you are.

I don’t write this just for other future thru-hikers this is for anyone who has something big which pulls at their heart and mind that they wish to do in their life time. Don’t just wish for it, get out there are bloody do it, life is far too short to be putting things on the back burner, you can do it now………. You can do it now.

Just the planning and reading and training has been a great journey and I havent even got to the best part yet! I’ve found out about amazing characters and fantastic stories of determination to complete this epic journey, I’ve spoken with some great people, previous thru-hikers who have mountains of tips and knowledge and they are more than happy to pass this on to you, all you have to do is ask, they love talking about it.

I feel a big part of something already and I hope it can only get better once the main event is upon me.