View Full Version : Motivation for your thru?

03-31-2014, 14:02
What's everyone's main reason, or motivation for doing the trail next year? And what are you looking forward to the most?

Boots and Backpacks
03-31-2014, 15:46
No matter what. My worse day on the trail is going to be better than my best day at work!

03-31-2014, 16:02
I will be graduating from UVM in may 2015, and I don't want to grow up and get a real job yet. I have always thought it would be cool to do a hike and thought, what the heck, I'll just go for it!

03-31-2014, 17:03
building off of what contrast said... I'm graduating in December 2014, I don't want to grow up yet and I want to experience something that few others get to truly experience.
I also have another reason though... I was in a 3 year relationship and last summer, I was planning to propose when I found out the girl I was dating at the time was sleeping with one of my friends...and had been for a few months. SO...after getting to know myself again and going through the healing stages of that, I want to get out of the area and explore the world a bit more and meet new people, make new friends and challenge myself.

I figure that life is all about ups and downs...if I'm going to go through them emotionally, I might as well go through them physically and walk up and down mountains for a while.

03-31-2014, 18:15
That is a really sucky thing to have happen to you wtrenda, but I am glad to hear that you have found a way to get something positive out of it

03-31-2014, 18:30
For the first time in my life since I came of age, I will be free to go where I want to go, wake up when I want to, and not be on the clock. Permanent Vacation.

What shall I do? Follow the white blazes of course. Then I'll have some time to figure it out.

2015 Lady Thru-Hiker
04-01-2014, 00:21
Has been in my heart to do it since I started camping and doing short hikes up in the Blue Ridge about 15 years ago. Let life get in the way of it until now. Decided if I was going to do it that I needed to get going. Those close to me know. Work does not. The things I am looking forward to most: snuggling into my tent after a hard days hike. Listening to the wind in the trees. Walking in the silence of the forest. Hearing running water. Seeing a ridge line in the distance. Blue haze. Drinking fresh cold water. Fires!! But most of all meeting some amazing people and hoping I will be one in return.

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04-01-2014, 02:17
I've known for a long time that I wanted to take some time off and live close to nature after I finish school, but I couldn't figure out a feasible way to do that until I read about the AT and started to learn about thru-hiking. I never feel as peaceful at home as I do while hiking or camping, so I want to make my thru-hike last as long as possible and I can't imagine anything better than spending half a year in the woods. Wtrenda, I'm sorry to hear that something so painful is part of what lead you to the AT, but I hope you find some of that peace nature always seems to provide.

04-01-2014, 12:09
The main reason for my hike next year is to learn how to feed my soul instead of my mouth. I will graduate with my Mastes of Public Administration degree about a week before I start. My career goals are to operate a non-profit organization and doing so means that I will never be the idea of wealth. What I am looking forward to the most is the relationships I will build and the things I will learn from the people I will meet.

04-01-2014, 12:32
Welcome to WB CaityJ

04-01-2014, 13:23
Dahoyt, you haven't told us your motivation yet and I am curious to know what it is.

04-01-2014, 16:01
My motivation is mainly to escape everyday life for a little while. I have had. Lot of ups and downs this past few years and feel like life is flying by me at an alarming rate. I want to take this to slow things down, to push myself to new levels, and to learn new things about myself. I am using this as a big learning experience, a way to clear the bad energy from my head, and to find some inner peace. Also, I was in a committed relationship, and got engaged early last year, after a lot of bad things happening, the engagement came to an end, and this is all part of my healing process... May sound corny, but it's the truth.

04-03-2014, 12:09
I am a military brat and have moved around my whole life. I have lived a lot of places and met a lot of people, but I have never found a place that felt like home. My perspective on life and priorities have changed a lot in the last few years, and I just feel like this is the perfect thing for me to be doing right now. It gives me something to work toward physically and financially and mentally, and hopefully it will give the most important people in my life a better understanding of what I want in life.

Mosquito Bait
04-03-2014, 14:19
I'm not an athlete. I'll never be an Olympian. I'll never be a famous rock star. I'll never be a CEO of a major corporation. There are many thing that I just am not capable of doing in my lifetime. But, I CAN walk and hike! I want to be able to look back 20 years from now and say, "I hiked the Appalachian trail from Georgia to Maine!" Not too many people can say that.

Last July I went to Amicolola Falls with my sister during her vacation. I saw signs for the trail. I saw stuff in the gift shop about the "AT." I knew right then that this was something I had to do! When I got home, I started researching the trail and was hooked.

04-03-2014, 14:24
To prove i'm not a failure.

04-03-2014, 19:17
I hike because I like hiking, and I'm looking forward to hiking.

04-03-2014, 20:36
Just plain tired and I need a good physical challenge to get my butt back in gear. Bring it on!

04-04-2014, 21:39
Along with Contrast and Wtrenda, i will be graduating college this year and I feel that this is my only opportunity to do the AT before starting a career job. I always tend to other peoples problems and try to help them the best I can and never really put myself first. Ive been through a similar situation as Wtrenda, dated a girl for 5 years just to find out shes been hooking up with someone else. It really broke me down and put me into a cocoon. I avoided going out and meeting new people because i was so distraught. I recently met someone new who pulled me out of my slump and really opened up my eyes. Ive been hiking for a few years but never really saw myself doing the whole AT. With that being said, after a week or two of section hiking i realized that this is perfect for me. It helps me escape reality, but puts me into reality (if that makes sense). In other words I escape the common day problems of traffic, drama, household chores, WORK, and other things that come with everyday living. Im in no means of perfect shape and the trail pushes me to the point where it helps me find my inner self. I love being in nature, and i need to prove to myself i can do this. I need to put all problems aside and i feel that this will help me work out my kinks and help me overlook the petty bull**** that would get the normal person flustered. Plus it would probably be one of my biggest accomplishments of my life to walk from GA to ME. To everyone debating whether or not they want to do it, just do it! Just doing a few weeks of sections hikes here and there made me realize that this needs to be done! happy hiking everyone and keep the motivation going! (inspirational quote) "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

04-04-2014, 22:52
I'm retired. I hate people. I'm getting fat. What else am I gonna do?

Hillbilly Mac
04-14-2014, 22:09
PTSD & addiction recovery, dedicating my hike to my Fallen Military Friends... & to find out just who I am after 18 years of hard drinking & 19 of mental anguish.

04-15-2014, 09:50
My family thinks I'm crazy.lol if I don't then-hike this yr(2015) I'll never get to do it. Friends well there very few who would understand backpacking let alone a thru-hike. Hang in there keep the faith and you'll do great. Cruise Control:)

04-16-2014, 18:47
I've been struggling my way through college. Starting to wonder if it's really for me. Figure i'll take off a semester and do a little soul searching. I'm most excited about meeting new people. Not just random people who you meet at a store or a bar, but people like me. People who are crazy enough to spend 5 months walking through the woods! Cant wait!

05-08-2014, 22:46
Few reasons: Always been something I wanted to do. Not really sure why, but I think I'm drawn to moving long distances under my own power. Things like this are challenging and at the same time so simple - just keep going. Cycled coast-to-coast after college in 2008. Planning to change career paths and see next spring as the opportune time to take this on. Also, the athletic challenge.

05-09-2014, 20:03
I'm retired. I hate people. I'm getting fat. What else am I gonna do?

LOL, your perfect. Many a retirees said the same thing. The trail isn't as much fun as folks think. It's more of a matter of simply not wanting to be any place else.

05-20-2014, 00:08
I retire in May 2015 and intend to start my hike March 2016. I have already been getting ready and have spent time on the trail numerous times. I am going to use it to transition this life event. I would like to start earlier but May is just not a good time to start a NOBO.

Francis Sawyer
05-20-2014, 11:43
Retirement gift to myself. No phone ,no lights ,no motorcars . Not a single luxury.

05-20-2014, 12:14
I was commuting into my dead-end job the other day and I noticed a man and woman walking down the road with packs on their backs. They were tan and fit and smiling and had a springy, carefree gait. And there I was squeezed into my little metal box, windows up and A/C blasting. Pale, pasty, overweight, unhappy, unfulfilled. I looked in my rearview with envy as I passed and thought about the freedom of travelling by foot--the beauty of the simplicity. There are so many reasons to thru-hike for me personally. It's a life goal. A dream. The carrot at the end of the stick. A lesson in humility and simplicity and nature.

05-20-2014, 15:47
I suppose I should add that I will be retiring from many years in the Navy. By definition I have been surrounded by technology, people, and dealing with world politics and the typical dangers that accompany this type of vocation. While part of me has enjoyed it, part of me just wants to turn it all off. I have not been able to feed that second part for very long. I suppose I am looking for something, though I have yet to figure that out.

05-20-2014, 22:49
Tired of doing more with less at work. I want to try to do more (the AT) with less (just what I can carry), simplify my life for a while.

No 0500 alarm, no buses. 5M footsteps would make a different, nicer rut to be in.

I was at a campsite in a state park two weekends ago. There was nobody else there, it was quiet and peaceful. I'm not the most introspective guy but it was nice.

Future retirement gift, vacation, accomplishment.

05-20-2014, 23:11
I need this adventure. I have been waiting some 30 years and it's finally going to happen in 2015. I'm so pumped. I look forward to whatever the trail throws at me.

05-21-2014, 10:56
I'ts been great getting to hear everyone's motivation, I'm so excited for next year! The only thing I can do to keep my mind off the trail is taking mini-excursions or getting lost in the gear search.

My motivation is probably much similar to most here, a life-long dream. A short documentary followed by a short read and I knew this was something that I wanted to do and although it's taking me nearly a decade to find the time, I feel like it was with good reason as timing is everything. Beyond this being a great dream and life-goal of mine, I will also be dedicating my hike to cancer research and awareness. I'm hoping our 2015 thru-hike will inspire friends and family to give to those who have fought cancer and know what's it's like to truly fight and struggle.

05-21-2014, 18:11
We have a great class of 2015 in the makings....

06-16-2014, 18:51
Something sparked inside of me when I stepped on the trail in Georgia 2012. It was different than here in Connecticut. I can't say I have something in particular that is motivating me. It's more of something inside that is magnetizing me to it.

06-24-2014, 14:50
I've known I would do the trail since I knew about the trail. I have done a lot with my life in the first 23 years, but the past two I have felt stagnant and incomplete. I've always craved a life different from the status quo, which my family doesn't understand. I think hiking the AT will ground me and make me feel like I'm doing something.

Also, I'm not a great finisher. Barring serious injury or illness, I'm going to finish this. Just to say I finished something.

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06-29-2014, 14:28
Graduated college May 2014, Mechanical Engineering degree. Sick of crunching numbers, craving the simple life for a while to think, soul search, and meet some cool people!

08-03-2014, 08:54
I have a disability that makes it difficult to do most things so I want to prove to myself that I can accomplish something big despite my shortcomings. Ive also gotten kind of fat from living in an area where there is no hiking or sports what so ever. I love hiking so long as I don't have to keep up with other people lol.

Wandering Deer
08-03-2014, 09:08
What's everyone's main reason, or motivation for doing the trail next year? And what are you looking forward to the most?

Last year, I did a section of the AT from MA to NY, and around New York, I really started hitting a wall. I found that my motivation for doing it was self awareness, understanding my limits, and shattering them. When I was a kid, I had done thru-hikes of the MMM (now called the New England Trail), the Long Trail, and the AT in MA, and VT, and had no problem, but as an adult, I'm less carefree, and more plugged in, so hiking for near endless distances relying on your base senses is like stripping off all the paint on your walls, and putting up a fresh new layer. I feel as though hiking the Appalachian Trail in it's entirety would be like building a house, not just painting the walls on it's foundation.

08-04-2014, 10:25
Main motivation.. I've never done it before.. 2nd motivation, nobody in my family does stuff that I do! LOL
3rd motivation. The list of amputee thru hikers is short, and I will put my name on that list in the hopes that it inspires others to add their names.

08-04-2014, 11:10
Retirement gift to myself. No phone ,no lights ,no motorcars . Not a single luxury.

Your trail name could be one of these....Skipper, Gilligan, The Professor, or Thurston. If female perhaps Ginger, Mary Ann, or Lovey? Did I miss anyone???

08-04-2014, 13:30
I'm in the retired/retiring group. January 8th, 2015 will be my last work day at the fire department after 28 years. As a civil servant, I have been "forced to conform" to a certain standard of conduct both at work and away. I'm ready to reclaim that man I always was.

I expect to find him, and have one heck of a reunion! You are welcome to come along! :)

08-09-2014, 15:39
What's everyone's main reason, or motivation for doing the trail next year? And what are you looking forward to the most?

I am about to get a divorce as soon as I move out...lol...Might as well take some time for myself after dedicating everything to a "family" for the past several years.

08-10-2014, 22:37
My motivation comes from a few angles. In 2015 I will be 48. That means that in 2015 I will have been dreaming about hiking the AT for 40 years. It's time to do it now. I can (and will) always be able to get another job when the time comes. Dreams need to be realized for mental health sometimes. Got pretty much all new, lightweight equipment now. Plus, I need to prove to myself that I can plan a long hike and execute it. The AT is on the "bucket list" along with sky diving and a few more things.

08-11-2014, 09:59
The AT is on the "bucket list" along with sky diving and a few more things.

This is what it boils down to for me. I've been dreaming since I was a kid. I don't think I would have finished in my early 20s but now, at 34, my stubbornness will finally be an attribute.

Oh, and go skydiving. Do it his weekend if you can. I went in 2012 and it was the most amazing thing I've ever done. Call your local DZ right now and do it!

08-12-2014, 09:52
A thru hike is the closest thing to absolute freedom I can think of. Assuming adequate savings, there are no thoughts of money, no responsibilities/worries related to material possessions like houses and cars, no schedule, no expectation. Nothing but a goal and the desire to reach it while enjoying/enduring some of the most basic things life on this Earth has to offer. I can't imagine how if couldn't be a life changing event.