There was this moment …

… or maybe two where I doubted myself, my skills, my gear, and my strength to continue on.

Once, I woke to a chilly morning and found everybody else in my little hiking group had already packed up and left. Everything felt so hard and beyond my abilities. I was miserable; if I had had cell phone service, I would have made a call to G asking her to please drop everything and come get me. The next afternoon, I stopped in the middle of the trail, exhausted, and just stood there on the side of the mountain. I could not find any beauty around me. None. I was tired and cold and felt so alone. The chill wind cut through my clothes and through the balaklava pulled up over my mouth and nose … I felt utterly sorry for myself … and I cried.

Someone told me there’s no crying in the mountains. Bullshit.

There really are no other options. Nobody’s going to come and scoop you up off the side of the mountain. There’s no magic wand or magic carpet and certainly no elevator around. The only thing I could do was get done crying … and keep walking.

That’s just how life is sometimes; you just have to keep on keeping on.

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13 thoughts on “There was this moment …

  1. Debra Gillenwaters

    The weather will change and your hike will become. What it becomes will depend on you and it will be only yours. You know all this.

    Reply
  2. Jan F Walsh DVM

    Energy to gather your strength and resolve to complete the task you set for yourself. Crying is a wonderful release and I’m sure you feel better and ready to keep on trucking

    Reply
  3. Gina

    Ahhhh…SugarBuns… I know this hike hasn’t started out the way you imagined. I suspect you are right at that crux where giving up seems like the best possible outcome. You started early, the weather has sucked and you’ve had problems getting your gear sorted out. You are lonely, cold and tired. It’s HARD to be outside in the cold and wet when you know perfectly well you have somewhere warm and comfy you could be. Be patient Bunny. This will pass. The weather will get better, the hiking will get easier. You will have so many days of joy and confidence and pride… That you persevered, that you got past the rough beginning, and that you aspired to reach for the stars. Nothing lasts forever. Be kind to yourself. You are learning. I think about you every day and send you warm sun, soft breezes and the smell of a forest coming alive with the spring. Hang tough kiddo. It’s always darkest just before the dawn. I know you don’t want to miss that!

    Reply
  4. writer77

    You are simply discovering an aspect of the Appalachian Trail not often mentioned; that it is an “emotional cauldron” as well as a physical challenge. You are also expressing your feeling and having those tears, which is good. One day, further down the trail, you will look back on them as a healing gift. Keep going…one step at a time.

    Reply
  5. Carrie

    I often think for me, the emotional and mental challenges of doing something like hiking the AT would far outweigh the physical ones for me. Just remember Bunny, it doesn’t matter (ultimately) how fast you go, or how far you go. You will know, in your heart of hearts, if you reach the point where you have found what it is your soul is seeking.

    We are all here for you and routing you on. I will light a candle for you tonight my friend. And mediate over that flame and send you many well wishes. xoxo

    Reply
  6. AlisaG

    pushing through shitty moments like that is the re-bar that gets built into your soul during a thru-hike. the trail is physical, yes, but at least for me it was 1000x more challenging mentally. You come out the other end of the tunnel with a strength you never knew you had. Keep on, get to the next smile, the next store full of junk food, the next beautiful place in the woods.

    Reply
  7. Jennifer Ball

    Just keep on keeping on sweetie. You will have those moments of tears and pain but with that also comes growth and peace. Spring is coming out of hiding with it winter wind is leaving. When you feel like giving up and going home give your self 2 more days (one day of rest and one of walking). I am sure you will have changed your mind by then and if not then you will have thought long and hard about it and will trust in your decision. There are so many people sending support and love your way. Reach out for it (((hug)))

    Reply
  8. techdevil3

    Those pictures are very desolate and beautiful at the same time. They seem to match how you were feeling… I’m sure it was easy to miss the beauty around you while feeling so low and in need of comfort that wasn’t available right then. I’m impressed with your ability to wipe your eyes, take a deep breath, and carry on… even though the desire to do so wasn’t there. Have you had any quiet moments where you have let yourself be proud of the strength coming out in you that you wouldn’t have discovered without this experience. Just imagine how much more you will get to learn about yourself! You inspire me to keep pushing through moments similar to this in my own life. My dear friend….. you’ve got this ❤ Hugs ❤

    Reply
  9. Wildtrout

    I think you are doing amazing Bunny. You are doing so much more then 90% of the population would even imagine doing. You are becoming stronger every moment you are on the AT. You are discovering things that others never learn about yourself. I am sorry you feel alone and I know it stinks. I was alone for 7 days in the wilderness and never saw another human being. You will find the perfect person to pair up with. You could always hurry up and get to katahdin by June and you could yo yo and hike south with me 🙂 If you ever need a friend to listen or a shoulder to vent on, and have cell phone service you can text me anytime! Keep kicking ass! Your doing amazing and with all the obstacles and shitty weather you keep putting one foot in front of the other! Hugs! <

    Reply
  10. Michelle

    I am so proud of you, Bunny, for keeping on keeping on! All of the previous comments are full of wisdom and I hope the words bring you strength and courage. I, too, think about you every day, wonder how you’re doing, send energy. The best is yet to come, Bunny!

    Reply

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