I just returned from a 4 days school provided by Warren Doyle for hiking the AT. We hiked parts of the AT in NC, TN and VA with day packs. I had a very hard time doing the inclined because of my COPD. He told me that because of the problems I was having it would take me at lest 8 months to hike the trail.
This made me very discouraged and depressed. I had been hiking some trails around here in TX that were just as rough and many cases steeper that the ones we hiked there. I could not understand what was happening. I did not believe that it was because of the altitude. Something else was wrong.
On the third day I starting running a fever so I knew I was sick. I felt this was the problem. So I felt I could do much better and hope by the time I get to the AT in March I will be alright to hike the trail. I have now taken the things that Doyle said as a challenge. I am more determine now to do the AT.
While we were in Damascus,VA I had the chance to talk to Jeff at the Mt. Roger Outfitters. He gave me some very good information that was very different than what Doyle said and I feel better.
When I got home my doctor found I had developed acute bronchitis and maybe a touch of pneumonia. I now feel that is what was the cause of the problems. I am now on medications and hope to be better soon. I will then have to work even harder to get back into shape. I may still not be able to make it but it will not be with out giving it a very hard try.
The moral here is do not let someone else determine what you can do or not do. Let your own body determine what it can do. Others can see what is on the outside but can not see what is on the inside. Do not give up because someone tells you that you will never make be able to hike the AT. Only you can make that decision.