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CaityJ
04-02-2014, 08:56
Does anyone else struggle with support from family membersand friends in regards to planning and other AT goals? It seems I keep running into thisconversation/ disagreement with my family. The individuals that were once my biggest supporters are now the onesthat doubt my success the most. I don'tlet this affect my drive towards my goals, but there are times that it gives medoubts.....

Caddywhompus
04-02-2014, 09:32
You'll get that. For most people they can't even conceive of doing something so great. The best I ever get is a weird look. The worst borderlines on offensive. Just remember the little dogs always bark from the porch as the big dogs walk by.

Matthikes
04-02-2014, 09:39
Sort of. I am only a section hiker and my wife just doesn't understand. She thinks it is stupid but she lets me do it. I think she is coming around a bit and is willing to do some day hikes with me. Maybe you could take them hiking somewhere local to you and see if it changes their perspective a bit. Be respectful to them but don't let them stop you from doing something you have dreamed of. I missed my chance to do a thru hike when I was younger so I bide my time doing section hikes until I retire or win the lotto.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I997 using Tapatalk 2

CaityJ
04-02-2014, 09:48
You'll get that. For most people they can't even conceive of doing something so great. The best I ever get is a weird look. The worst borderlines on offensive. Just remember the little dogs always bark from the porch as the big dogs walk by.

My mom was surprisingly supportive in the beginning andstated that it was a great idea without skipping a beat. Now she seems uninterested when I’m excitedopening my gear packages and talking about my plans. She has always been my fall back person andnow she seems disassociated when it comes to the next 18 months. My sister is becoming my rock whilecontaining her doubts.
I agree that these plans are a dream to most people! Theywere to me until i realized what a vital point in my life I have and how Ishould take it for all its worth! You’re only in your 20's, no kids, no majorbills, and no baggage once!

Old Hiker
04-02-2014, 09:55
Wife doesn't want me to try again because she had to step up and do things in the house. Even the offer of letting her have a reciprocal dream really doesn't help. Still, she's resigned to another attempt in 2016. Bills are being paid forward, VISA will be paid off, money saved up.

Oh, well. Part of being married.

Rest of my family was/is supportive: Dad did a scrapbook of my attempt in 2012, brother helped with medical problems with his doctor friends, uncle in Maine was ready to celebrate my Katahdin climb with a fresh-caught lobster feast.

myakka_
04-02-2014, 10:02
I already leave for 18 day deployments in the mountains in season at work. My wife is NOT interested in me taking off to do the AT too. I think my best chance to do this and keep peace in the home is to wait a few years and do it as a thru right after I retire.

I have a friend who is having some medical issues, and he needs some time to get ready but this is also the number one thing on his bucket list, and we have talked about doing it together, so I am thinking waiting is the best win all the way around.

ALLEGHENY
04-02-2014, 10:13
How dependent are you on your family?
Are they paying for it?
What do you mean by support?

CaityJ
04-02-2014, 10:16
Sort of. I am only a section hiker and my wife just doesn't understand. She thinks it is stupid but she lets me do it. I think she is coming around a bit and is willing to do some day hikes with me. Maybe you could take them hiking somewhere local to you and see if it changes their perspective a bit. Be respectful to them but don't let them stop you from doing something you have dreamed of. I missed my chance to do a thru hike when I was younger so I bide my time doing section hikes until I retire or win the lotto.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I997 using Tapatalk 2

If I didn't have the option to go off the grid for 6 monthsI too would section hike. I canunderstand having responsibilities back home. I have saved $10,000 for my hike and bills back home ($3000 for 6months). It is a feeling of doubt andextreme worry that I get from them that off sets me. I got into an argument with one of my cousinsbecause he stated that I was going to be picked off the trail, horrible thingswere going to happen to me, and I would never be heard from again. I don’t believe these things, but I am not naive. I currently work in law enforcement! I knowwhat people are capable of doing!

Starchild
04-02-2014, 10:16
My experience is I need to normally take want my family says as pointers as to what is holding me back - instead of advice to follow. They say things to stop me from progressing and to 'hold on to the me they molded' instead of wishing me to break out of that mold and become my own person. It seems comforting for them to have me in a form they wanted and uncomfortable with me changing, but by doins so I will never become the me I am and was meant to be. So their discouragement is helpful as it showed me what not to do (or to continue doing) and is now encouragement for me as I desire to progress.

CaityJ
04-02-2014, 10:20
How dependent are you on your family?
Are they paying for it?
What do you mean by support?

I'm not dependent on my family foranything. I have been living on my ownsince I turned 18. They are not payingfor any portion of my hike. I have saved$10,000 so far to quit my job in a year and hike. All my bills back home ($3000) will be paidfor beforehand. What I mean by supportis they are not supportive of my hike. They tell me almost weekly to stop planning, that I'm not going to doit, or that I'm wasting my money. I willnot give up on this dream, but in the meantime it dampens my spirits.

WingedMonkey
04-02-2014, 10:24
18-24 months is a long time for other family members to have to listen to your "dreams".

Do your planning and let them know what they are closed to a real departure date.

WingedMonkey
04-02-2014, 10:25
18-24 months is a long time for other family members to have to listen to your "dreams".

Do your planning and let them know what they are closed to a real departure date.

closer to a real departure date.

CaityJ
04-02-2014, 10:26
Wife doesn't want me to try again because she had to step up and do things in the house. Even the offer of letting her have a reciprocal dream really doesn't help. Still, she's resigned to another attempt in 2016. Bills are being paid forward, VISA will be paid off, money saved up.

Oh, well. Part of being married.

Rest of my family was/is supportive: Dad did a scrapbook of my attempt in 2012, brother helped with medical problems with his doctor friends, uncle in Maine was ready to celebrate my Katahdin climb with a fresh-caught lobster feast.

I can see how her struggles on the home front could be very overwhelming, but I'm happy you are still dreaming of another go at it! I keep hopping that in the end my mom will do something like what your dad did for you. It may not be much, but it shows interest and care. I'm going to try to talk my sister into summiting Katahdin with me. She is my rock! ;)

ALLEGHENY
04-02-2014, 10:27
I would keep planning and get out and hike.

CaityJ
04-02-2014, 10:31
18-24 months is a long time for other family members to have to listen to your "dreams".

Do your planning and let them know what they are closed to a real departure date.

lol I understand your point, but that is how I've alwaysbeen. I am a grand plan kind of personand I share my aspirations. When Istated 18 months I was including approx. 6 months for my hike :)

wookinpanub
04-02-2014, 10:31
My dad was vehemently against it and told me I would last 3 weeks, tops. My mom agreed to mail my maildrops and I think she realized how serious I was when she saw the amount of preparation and forethought I had put into it, with 18 prepacked boxes and an exact mail schedule. In the end, they were both very proud of the accomplishment and met me at the end (Springer) to hike with me from USFS 42. When I ordered my map set from the ATC, it came with books giving detailed descriptions of the trail and surrounding areas. I left the books at home and they learned to use them to follow my progress and read about what I was seeing. I also provided them with a wall map of the entire AT and they marked my location each time I called home. Their "buy-in" grew as I progressed down the trail and by the end they were excited about it. The first month was tough, though.

RockDoc
04-02-2014, 10:34
"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" if it's something you really want to do.

Hot Flash
04-02-2014, 10:35
My mom was surprisingly supportive in the beginning andstated that it was a great idea without skipping a beat. Now she seems uninterested when I’m excitedopening my gear packages and talking about my plans. She has always been my fall back person andnow she seems disassociated when it comes to the next 18 months.


How much have you talked about it, and for how long a period of time? She's probably heard it all from you many times, and is simply bored to death with it by now.

CaityJ
04-02-2014, 10:38
My dad was vehemently against it and told me I would last 3 weeks, tops. My mom agreed to mail my maildrops and I think she realized how serious I was when she saw the amount of preparation and forethought I had put into it, with 18 prepacked boxes and an exact mail schedule. In the end, they were both very proud of the accomplishment and met me at the end (Springer) to hike with me from USFS 42. When I ordered my map set from the ATC, it came with books giving detailed descriptions of the trail and surrounding areas. I left the books at home and they learned to use them to follow my progress and read about what I was seeing. I also provided them with a wall map of the entire AT and they marked my location each time I called home. Their "buy-in" grew as I progressed down the trail and by the end they were excited about it. The first month was tough, though.

This is an amazing story and gives me hope that my family will be just as proud of me. I think I will do something similar for my family! Thank you for the idea!

CaityJ
04-02-2014, 10:40
How much have you talked about it, and for how long a period of time? She's probably heard it all from you many times, and is simply bored to death with it by now.

I've been planning since last July. She probably is bored, but she shouldnt be stating that she isn't supportive of me or that I'm going to fail.

Caddywhompus
04-02-2014, 10:59
I've been planning since last July. She probably is bored, but she shouldnt be stating that she isn't supportive of me or that I'm going to fail.

Haters gonna hate.

HikerMom58
04-02-2014, 11:18
I can understand where you are coming from CaityJ. I'm very open & verbal with my plans & dreams in life. It's our personality ... it's how we roll! :cool:

Maybe your mother is afraid for you down deep inside. I know I felt that way about my daughter hiking the trail. That fear never went away, for me, but I didn't let that stop me from supporting her in every way. If you could try to understand where your mom is coming from & try to get her to talk about her feelings, that might turn things around.

Good luck with all your planning! :D

CaityJ
04-02-2014, 11:33
I can understand where you are coming from CaityJ. I'm very open & verbal with my plans & dreams in life. It's our personality ... it's how we roll! :cool:

Maybe your mother is afraid for you down deep inside. I know I felt that way about my daughter hiking the trail. That fear never went away, for me, but I didn't let that stop me from supporting her in every way. If you could try to understand where your mom is coming from & try to get her to talk about her feelings, that might turn things around.

Good luck with all your planning! :D

I understand that she's afraid for me. I feel this is the same case for other family members such as my grandpa. I am trying to keep everyone at ease by carrying a personal locator beacon with OK email capabiities and phone contact when possible. You are right I am open and verbal about pretty much everything :) and I honestly don't see it as a down fall or flaw. Thank you for the advice coming from a mother that has been in a similar situation!

CaityJ
04-02-2014, 11:33
Haters gonna hate.
W
here is a like button when you need it!?! Thanks for the smile this brought me!

CarlZ993
04-02-2014, 11:35
My wife got really bored w/ my obsessive planning before my hike (less than 6 months of planning before I left for the hike). She was very supportive of the actual hike. Those are two, mutually exclusive things.

Sounds like you've got a year before you start your hike. Fine-tune your kit. Get some hiking in. Something w/ some elevation if possible (I can't see from page two but I think you're from FL).

There will be doubters. From time to time on the trail, you'll possibly be one of them. Tune out the doubters & realize that the demons between your ears will also go away if you just keep plugging down the trail. Sounds like you'll be sufficiently budgeted for your hike. So, now you realize that you won't quit unless you've got something important in a cast.

Good luck on your prep.

Hot Flash
04-02-2014, 11:46
I've been planning since last July. She probably is bored, but she shouldnt be stating that she isn't supportive of me or that I'm going to fail.

If she's actually looking you in the eye and saying "You're going to fail" then why don't you stand up for yourself and tell her to cut it out?

CaityJ
04-02-2014, 11:48
My wife got really bored w/ my obsessive planning before my hike (less than 6 months of planning before I left for the hike). She was very supportive of the actual hike. Those are two, mutually exclusive things.

Sounds like you've got a year before you start your hike. Fine-tune your kit. Get some hiking in. Something w/ some elevation if possible (I can't see from page two but I think you're from FL).

There will be doubters. From time to time on the trail, you'll possibly be one of them. Tune out the doubters & realize that the demons between your ears will also go away if you just keep plugging down the trail. Sounds like you'll be sufficiently budgeted for your hike. So, now you realize that you won't quit unless you've got something important in a cast.

Good luck on your prep.

Yes :) I am in the sunny, currently 80* weather, and no elevation state of Florida! I am going to NC in Sept. and will be doing a section to test out my gear more and get more of a feel for the elevation. For now im stuck with training on machines with resistance :(. I have set my goal high so that it would not be the reason I would have to delay to stop my hike. I hadn't quite reilzed that until you put it that way, but YES I will not quit as long as god is willing!! Thanks for the encouragement!!

10-K
04-02-2014, 12:06
I learned a long time ago not to share my dreams with people who didn't appreciate them. It's a bit like casting your pearls before swine.

Also, 2015 is a long ways away. I would suggest continuing to fully participate in whatever's in front of you rather than fixating on hiking the AT. It isn't going anywhere and it's possible to burn yourself out before you even set foot on the trail.

Just live and enjoy life, that's my suggestion. :)

CaityJ
04-02-2014, 12:21
I learned a long time ago not to share my dreams with people who didn't appreciate them. It's a bit like casting your pearls before swine.

Also, 2015 is a long ways away. I would suggest continuing to fully participate in whatever's in front of you rather than fixating on hiking the AT. It isn't going anywhere and it's possible to burn yourself out before you even set foot on the trail.

Just live and enjoy life, that's my suggestion. :)

I still have a lot of other things going on than just planning for my hike. I am currently in graduate school and fighting my way to be able to actually have a life once I start my hike. I'm simply overzealous at what life will hold after I finish my Masters degree and I am able to live my life and not work as much to pay for school out of pocket when possible! Thanks for the tip though! :)

rafe
04-02-2014, 12:22
I'm sure I burned out some friends and maybe even my parents with my obsessiveness prior to my thru-hike attempt. I never got any outright hostility or discouragement, though. Or maybe there was, and I just tuned it out and didn't hear it.

slbirdnerd
04-02-2014, 12:30
No one in my family or current circle are interested in backpacking or my AT hiking goals. Most of it is total lack of interest and some is safety concerns of a paranoid degree. This is upsetting, but in response I joined a couple backpacking groups so I can meet new people who get it. If your circle annoys you, find a new circle. Oh, and I spend way too much time on WhiteBlaze...

CaityJ
04-02-2014, 12:51
No one in my family or current circle are interested in backpacking or my AT hiking goals. Most of it is total lack of interest and some is safety concerns of a paranoid degree. This is upsetting, but in response I joined a couple backpacking groups so I can meet new people who get it. If your circle annoys you, find a new circle. Oh, and I spend way too much time on WhiteBlaze...

I am currently at work and I have been on here since 7:30 this morning lol! I'm going to try to find some type of group in my area. Living in Florida that might be a little difficult, but I will still look! Thanks

myakka_
04-02-2014, 13:00
Caity There are meetup groups even as far south as Sarasota. I am sure you will find one near you. In fact, try the Florida Trail website. They may not be about the AT, but they are still trail hikers, and should be good matches for chitchat and even some local hiking to prep for the AT

CaityJ
04-02-2014, 13:07
Caity There are meetup groups even as far south as Sarasota. I am sure you will find one near you. In fact, try the Florida Trail website. They may not be about the AT, but they are still trail hikers, and should be good matches for chitchat and even some local hiking to prep for the AT

AHHHH I LOVE THIS SITE!!!! Ive already found some talking about local outfitters down here! thank you thank you!

myakka_
04-02-2014, 13:35
Great! I am glad it helped.

lonehiker
04-02-2014, 14:32
Your mom is used to being the center of the universe. Now that the trail is, at least for a time, she is jealous. If you aren't successful, as she is predicting, she knows that you will come running and need her support again. If you are successful, well then, perhaps you have moved beyond her..... or so she thinks.

Boots and Backpacks
04-02-2014, 14:34
While my wifes family is far more apprehensive about us hiking, and a little overbearing at times. My family just said "it sounds like fun if you're into sleeping on the ground for 6-7 months". I definitely would not say that our families are not being supportive, but more so worried about what "could" happen. Once your hiking, and have checked in a couple times things will be fine.

rock steady
04-04-2014, 20:02
Caity: I'm not a thru-hiker.I intend to start in March 2015 but FWIW: please look at 'success'-many people agree with me that when you get to the arch at Amicalola or parking lot at FS42 you are already a success. It takes a lot to just get that far along. I can't buy into the idea that you have to climb Katadin after such-and-such blah blah blah. No, you pursue your dream! You're a success today and you'll be a success a year from today. One 2014 hiker says something like 'the journey IS the destination' He or she is right-on! You have plenty of experiences that have taught you that we can't control all the circumstances of our lives. But we do our best. live your faith. have fun. and know that you'll find lots of companions on the trail. God bless!

Pedaling Fool
04-05-2014, 08:00
I've never understood the concept of Moral Support. Who cares what anyone thinks, just go do it.

q-tip
04-05-2014, 10:57
My family was very supportive of my 1,000 hike. but not always so. I have been sober for almost 30 years, and the first ten was difficult for them. In addition to the drinking, I had lots of unresolved issues with growing up. In the face of substantial and significant criticism, I went ahead and did my work not involving them in the process, but sharing with them the results.

In AA, I was the first person in my area to openly talk about being mentally ill and its effect on my recovery. Not really popular at the time, but it was what I Needed to recover. In that area people openly talk about mental illness without judgement.... Today, all is well and what I learned is this; living my Truth is what is important. Whether a person understands what I am doing or why I am doing it is virtually irrelevant to me. Short of any realy long distance hiking experience, who can possibly know what you are feeling or why you are driven to hike.

My hike was not just about a love and a desire to achieve a goal, I was dead on an OR table for 3 1/2 minutes and in a coma for 2 weeks after that. Hiking for me was a life affirming task. I literally crawled the last 200 miles into Harpers Ferry, but I made it.

Today I have incredible suport from my family and friends as I have continued to suffer with periodic health relapses. And although they can't possibly know anything about my desire and need to hike, they trust, love and support MY need to do it. MY life, MY needs, MY Truth, and my commitment to living the Vision that works for me..... Who knew after a 30 year sales career I would ever be a writer for a living.....

Good Luck, this is a tough one but based on my overwhelming experience they will grow in respect even if not in understanding.

tweety bird
04-05-2014, 11:27
My family doesn't understand why I hike on the AT, and most of my friends think I am crazy. I do this for me and nobody else. I like the feeling of accomplishment and it is something that I can do on my own terms. I have made so many friends and met some really neat people.-Wing Wing

YC 15
04-14-2014, 20:11
I always get an extreme reaction when mentioning my upcoming thru. It takes a certain type of person to set out on a journey such as this. Some say they wish they could, they're envious. Others ask "the whole thing? why? Are you bringing a gun?" I reply with stats, "you're more likely to die of a cheeseburger so no I won't be carrying a gun." My family thinks I'm crazy although they ask all sorts of questions. They can't wrap their head around it. So many of my finest memories have been on mountains. I have found an unrivaled clarity paired with a sense of accomplishment. No wife, no kids, no excuses. I do this for ME. GAME on

bobp
04-14-2014, 20:25
I'm not sure I understand the concern for the opinions of a whole bunch of people who aren't you about the way you lead your life. Are they joining you in the box at the end?

Odd Man Out
04-14-2014, 20:27
If you haven't seen this, you should check it out. It's hilarious.

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?102956-Moral-Support/page3

Odd Man Out
04-14-2014, 20:37
I have sort of the opposite problem. My wife loves to hiking, camping, birdwatching, nature, etc...but is no longer physically able to do anything very rigorous. Together we take trips that she can handle (day hikes, car camping, National Parks, etc...). But she thought it was a bit insensitive of me to want to go backpacking since it is something that she would like to do, but can't. But it is getting better. She now talks openly about my trip this summer and seems to accept this as reasonable. I have supported her on a couple of relatively ambitious trips she took on her own this past year. I think this has helped her be supportive of mine.

When you consider how much time and money people spend on other hobbies (restoring old cars, golf, etc...), I'm not sure why backpacking is considered so odd.

Hillbilly Mac
04-14-2014, 22:28
My hike might end up costing me my marriage, but after I got out of 5 days in the ICU (strangely an average daily BAC of .63 is bad) & a 30 day substance abuse recovery program at my VA hospital (237 days sober then relapse -back to 72 hours), I need to find out just who the hell I am after 18 years of hard drinking, deal with my PTSD, & anyone among my family & friends who doesn't like it can http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX8Qqu_WBIc :cool:

ihavea4
04-15-2014, 14:45
I'm not sure when I'll be able to do my hike, but I've been slowly planning and waiting for over a year now. Hopefully 2015 or 16 will be the year. When I mentioned this idea to my grandparents though, (they live close by and helped me get my current job after the army) they were extremely unsupportive. They said things like I was being irresponsible, and basically I needed to grow up. I quickly learned not to talk about that around them anymore! I guess they will find out my plans on the day I quit my job and head to GA...

Beccah
04-18-2014, 22:02
I got into an argument with one of my cousins because he stated that I was going to be picked off the trail, horrible things were going to happen to me, and I would never be heard from again. I donít believe these things, but I am not naive.


It's been my experience that family/friends say things like this out of either 1) concern or 2) jealousy. As a kid, I wanted to be a Marine Biologist. My grandmother told me that I would only find work at Sea World and I would get eaten by a killer whale. She didn't say this to scare me to death, she said it because the scenario popped into her head and scared her to death. In high school, I was a Rotary exchange student. My sister told me I would never make it 3 weeks living abroad, let alone 11 months. She said it because she didn't want me to go. I don't know how much you need your family's acceptance of you and your decisions. I would say that you should thank them for their concern and push through. It's your life to live and you should totally jump on amazing opportunities when they present themselves, no matter how much they may scare your family.

gof
04-18-2014, 23:10
You rock. Do not wait nor listen to others.

Do no put this off. I do not think I can do mine for a few more years AND I regret making choices that delayed my adventure.

While we cannot substitute for your family, you have a tremendous amount of support here.

kayak karl
04-19-2014, 07:26
My hike might end up costing me my marriage, i would guess that the 20 yrs of drinking is what will end up costing you your marriage. sorry:confused: personally i don't thing getting sober on the trail is a good idea. get some time under your belt. getting sober and living sober are two different things.

Sheriff Cougar
04-19-2014, 17:46
closer to a real departure date.

I agree with you, Winged Monkey. Talk to the ones that are positive towards you and your hike and just don't talk to the others at all about your plans. Hard to do but you should not have to deal with negativity and that is one way of avoiding it. I have had similar experiences with other things in my life I wanted to do and learned really quick who I could talk to and who I should not share information with.
Worked for me and still does. I have family and friends I won't even tell when I take a hike because it is always 'oh I have been so worried about you. I worry all the time while you are gone'. Like they are the victims and I have done something terrible to them because I went on a hike. GIVE ME A BREAK! So, now I only tell them after I come back, if at all. You will figure your own way to navigate these obstacles. Hang in there and stay positive in spite of the negativity.