Often the perception of a thru hike is endless vistas, nights spent with new friends, or just a walk in the woods. While sometimes that is true, there is more behind all those picturesque instagrammable moments.
I am forever being humbled by the climbs and terrain I challenge my body to endure. The tears that fall when I am pushed out of my comfort zone and the experiences that force me to change. Change the way I think and act, whether to break down in a moment of weakness, or overcome stronger. What you can't see in this picture from a few weeks ago was me fighting each step, I was having a hypoglycemic episode on one of the steepest miles on the trail (mom alert - I survived and I'm fine). The one mile uphill took almost 45 minutes and included many breaks (forced on me by my hiking partner) when I wasn't sure if I was going to pass out or throw up.
I'd be lying if I said everyday was great and I loved every moment out here. Sometimes just the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other can seem like endless trudging, but what I have seen in these moments is the ability to identify them as temporary and move on. Mental strength will always kick in when there is no easy way out, and there isn't much out here that is 'easy'. This thru hike isn't about the things I'll see or the places I'll go. For me it is more about learning about what I'm capable of and my internal drive. I'm not 'finding myself' or having any holy realization of my path in life. Hell, I still have no clue of what's to come after I finish the trail - yet there is a calmness in knowing that out here is where I need to be right now, the rest will fall into place in due time.
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