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hikerboy57
07-04-2012, 11:26
although ive always wanted to attempt a complete thru hike, i still havent been able to make the commitment. its not so much that i dont think i could complete it, its that im finding a lot of happiness off trail as well as on, and im happy with the balance ive been able to sutain.
outside of the young hikers and the retired, i find many thrus are going through some sort of mid life crisis, and head to the trail for some answers.
my question is this: to those of you that decided to hike because you needed time off from your off trail life to maybe "think things through", to those of you who decided to get off trail before you finished, but found the answers you were looking for, would you still call your thru attempt successful, or a failure?

Lone Wolf
07-04-2012, 12:12
if the goal is a thru-hike and you quit before finishing, you've failed.

coach lou
07-04-2012, 12:55
I don't use that 'F' word, I've succeeded in getting to today, and I'm going to try to make it better than yesterday.

Odd Man Out
07-04-2012, 13:07
Whoever has the most fun wins

hikerboy57
07-04-2012, 13:23
if the goal is a thru-hike and you quit before finishing, you've failed.

im more thinking of those you set a goal of a complete thru hike, because they had been dealing with some sort of personal issues that made them decide a thru hike would be a good idea. if they found these answers and decided it was time to go home. if i dont finish maine this august, barring some injury, i would feel i failed and thats only 297 miles,not even on the same scale.but thats because thats my goal, and when i set a goal, theres very little that can stop me from attaining it.. ive section hiked many times where i just decided to change my plans midstream depending on weather, terrain, and my mood , and had more fun than just sticking to my original plan.but thats just a plan, not a goal.when you have this "burinng desire" to acheive a goal, any goal, anything short of that goal is a failure..but sometimes you learn stuff to make the next attempt a non failure, so maybe no complete failures.

Hairbear
07-04-2012, 13:53
do we learn more about ourselves from success or from failure.i bet its different for each person

WingedMonkey
07-04-2012, 14:19
I have removed my hike status from this sites list of 2000 milers, I have removed my aviator that claims anything, I've asked the ATC how to remove me from their list.

It is now my personal business and not a club I want to or need to claim bragging rights of.

hikerboy57
07-04-2012, 14:23
I have removed my hike status from this sites list of 2000 milers, I have removed my aviator that claims anything, I've asked the ATC how to remove me from their list.

It is now my personal business and not a club I want to or need to claim bragging rights of.
thanks WM, thats kinda what brought this question to mind. are you in it for the "awards" or are you in it for your own personal satisfaction? im almost positive the vast majority of successful thrus never applied for recognition /patch.
you know in your own mind whether you succeeded or failed. the patch can probably be bought on ebay. doesnt mean you accomplished anything.

WingedMonkey
07-04-2012, 14:33
the patch can probably be bought on ebay. doesnt mean you accomplished anything.

I have three Philmont arrowhead completion patches on Ebay they are just collecting dust.

coach lou
07-04-2012, 15:41
I have three Philmont arrowhead completion patches on Ebay they are just collecting dust.

...but what do they mean to YOU?

moocow
07-04-2012, 15:47
i set out to thu so that i could say that i was a thru-hiker. along the way, i came to believe that hiking the trail is so much more than being on the path for 2000 miles. i think i'm happy with the idea that being successful in anything is when you can walk away with joy in your heart.

rocketsocks
07-04-2012, 16:39
thanks WM, thats kinda what brought this question to mind. are you in it for the "awards" or are you in it for your own personal satisfaction? im almost positive the vast majority of successful thrus never applied for recognition /patch.
you know in your own mind whether you succeeded or failed. the patch can probably be bought on ebay. doesnt mean you accomplished anything.that's where I got mine...kidding Ya Know,I've heard someone say,"if your going on the trail to leave your troubles behind, it wont help. Because no matter where you go, there you are"......lots of truth in that saying.

hikerboy57
07-04-2012, 16:50
wherever you go there you are. mike brady. but getting out on the trail can sometimes bring clarity as you leave the chatter of d everyday world and your internal dialogue begins to subside. it becomes easier to let go of a problem and once you do that you soon find a solution. congratz on the smoking r s

jfarrell04
07-04-2012, 16:55
A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do - Bob Dylan

max patch
07-04-2012, 16:59
Depends on your objective.

If your objective was to hike until you solved your personal problems then you have SUCCESS when that happens no matter how far you hiked.

If your objective was to do a thru and quit before you have covered all 2,184 miles then you have FAILED.

weary
07-04-2012, 17:08
thanks WM, thats kinda what brought this question to mind. are you in it for the "awards" or are you in it for your own personal satisfaction? im almost positive the vast majority of successful thrus never applied for recognition /patch.
you know in your own mind whether you succeeded or failed. the patch can probably be bought on ebay. doesnt mean you accomplished anything.
Well, I sort of miss not having much surplus money at the end of each month, but otherwise I've gotten my share of "awards." When I celebrated my 80th birthday a few years ago, my kids dug out 15 or 20 "Awards" and posted them on my wall, which reminded me again that I've accomplished a few useful things -- in addition to my kids and wife.

When I started the AT I really didn't expect to complete an ATC-endorsed thru hilke -- and I didn't. I started on Springer and ended on Katahdin six months and 3 days later. But I skipped miles here and there as I tried to explore all the side trails, and beat the arrival of snow on Katahdin. ATC did make me an honorary life member a decade later, which probably suggests that they think -- or at least thought -- I had been extra useful to the trail.

Anyway, I greatly enjoyed my long walk, which was the most important award. I suspect I enjoyed the trail even more than all the "purists" that I met, who seemed always to have something to complain about. Not that I'm not a critic. That's where all the awards came from. It's only that I do more than complain, I try to make things better.

More should try that technique. Because "things" surely need to be "better."

hikerboy57
07-04-2012, 17:18
weary you are a very special person.

WingedMonkey
07-04-2012, 17:21
...but what do they mean to YOU?

They remind me of the joke that Philmont is now.

max patch
07-04-2012, 17:42
Even the greatest baseball players fail 7 out of every 10 times they bat.

kayak karl
07-04-2012, 17:47
some people have trouble separating failing and being a failure. i know a few that didn't finish and look at the whole trip as a waste. ??

rocketsocks
07-04-2012, 17:53
wherever you go there you are. mike brady. but getting out on the trail can sometimes bring clarity as you leave the chatter of d everyday world and your internal dialogue begins to subside. it becomes easier to let go of a problem and once you do that you soon find a solution. congratz on the smoking r sThanks, and yes you make a good point.

wnderer
07-04-2012, 18:08
I like this Michael Jordan quote

I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. ― Michael Jordan

Water Rat
07-04-2012, 18:37
I think "fail" can be such a harsh word. For me, even if I don't meet my goal, I try to learn from the experience. Doesn't mean I am always satisfied with the outcome. It just means I try to make the most of my experiences. Then again, I don't think everything has to be one or the other. Can't you have some success on the way to failure? Can't you have some failure on the way to success?

I doubt there is any one right answer to this question. To each their own... :)

I do think that if the ONLY reason a person is doing a thru-hike is to get a patch, then maybe they need to redefine their priorities. I also think that will not keep a person on the trail for very long.

hikerboy57
07-04-2012, 19:30
okay I need to rephr ase my question. given that a failed thru hike attempt is exactly that's a failed thru hike attempt, for those of you who did not finish their thru hike do you consider it still a success or still a failure?

kayak karl
07-04-2012, 20:15
okay I need to rephr ase my question. given that a failed thru hike attempt is exactly that's a failed thru hike attempt, for those of you who did not finish their thru hike do you consider it still a success or still a failure?
i attempted two thru's in '09 and failed at both, but how could i say "but they were successful thru hikes"?????
i had a great time, met people, made friends, spent money and saw a lot. some i met are still my friends (even after acting like a jerk on WB). i might go back again and if i do i'm leaving 1/1/201?. just because it was fun and it's nice to be the only one at a hostel and get personal service. its great being on the trail and when it's not, GO HOME:sun

did i answer your question??

Del Q
07-04-2012, 20:45
Bob Dylan "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do."




Bob Dylan "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do."

kayak karl
07-04-2012, 20:50
Dylan was talking about MONEY!

Marta
07-04-2012, 21:02
For some of us, hiking the whole AT is a major lifetime goal. Achieving that goal requires that we take time away from normal life. I heard about the AT when I was a child and the idea caught my imagination. It became something I had to do, at great inconvenience to my family, and sacrificing six months of income, etc. if I had not done it, it would have gnawed at me. I would have always wondered what it was like, and beaten myself up for allowing inertia to prevent me from pursuing my dreams.

Doing anything less than hiking the whole Trail would have been failure, plain and simple.

The patch and recognition are nice, but not the essence of the activity, just as a wedding ring is a symbol, but most people don't get married just in order to be able to wear the ring.

Other people may have other goals for their hikes, such as getting away from normal life. Hiking the AT may seem like a good way to do that. I rather doubt that the distance hiked is as important as the passage from one phase of life to another. They either solve the problem they had, or decide this isn't the way to solve it, and they need to do seeming else.

I thnk it's important to be clear about what you are looking for when you set off on your hike. To have fun? While there is fun to be had on an AT thru-hike, there's a lot of not-fun to be had as well. If having fun is your primary goal, you should probably consider other options for your time and money.

q-tip
07-04-2012, 21:23
My goal was Springer to Harpers Ferry-- I crawled into Harpers after 3 months. That was all I could do, and I feel it is a major success in my life!!!

SassyWindsor
07-04-2012, 21:27
Bottom line: If I had fun, it was a success.

Cookerhiker
07-04-2012, 21:38
Started a thruhike of the JMT in '06 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=4830). Bottom line was that for more than one reason, I was only able to hike about 70% of it so I failed in not achieving what I had sought. And in conversation - both face-to-face and cyber - I never say "I hiked the JMT" without a qualifier e.g. "I hiked most of the JMT."

OTOH the 153 miles I did hike were a blast because I experienced so much the JMT offers - colorful wildflowers, camping at 11K in alpine surroundings by picturesque lakes, the clean and cool air, mountain streams - that I wasn't sad or remorseful much at all.

So it's 6 years later and I'm starting the JMT in August but virtually none of the motivation is to make up for a "failed" hike; rather, it's tops on my girlfriend's list and I'm accompanying her.

WingedMonkey
07-04-2012, 21:41
My goal was Springer to Harpers Ferry-- I crawled into Harpers after 3 months. That was all I could do, and I feel it is a major success in my life!!!

Did you get a patch?
;)

hikerboy57
07-04-2012, 21:42
that's awesome I hope you have a great trip.

MuddyWaters
07-04-2012, 21:51
Success, or failure, depends on whether or not the glass is half-empty, or half-full.

Great discoveries have been made by eliminating "what doesnt work", as opposed to discovering "what does".

Sarcasm the elf
07-04-2012, 21:53
Bottom line: If I had fun, it was a success.
+1

[A minimum of ten characters for the post]

hikerboy57
07-04-2012, 22:03
[QUOTE=MuddyWaters;1307602]Success, or failure, depends on whether or not the glass is half-empty, or half-full.

Great discoveries have been made by eliminating "what doesnt work", as opposed to but isn't it okay to just see the glassdiscovering"what does".[/QUOTE.

but isn't it okay to just see the glass?

4shot
07-04-2012, 22:22
the patch can probably be bought on ebay. doesnt mean you accomplished anything.

I shouldn't let the cat out of the bag...but if you can get one on ebay, do so. You can take it to McDonald's. if you show them your patch and hand them a dollar bill, they will give you a small cup of coffee.If you don't smell too bad you can drink it right there in the store. Plus get some plastic knives and those little packets of salt/pepper/ketchup. fwiw, I've never seen a patch sell for more than $1.13 on an ebay auction (watch those shipping charges though or you can overpay - it's sorta like stealth profit for some of the less reputable sellers).

singing wind
07-04-2012, 22:41
+1 to Marta.

I too was taken in by the AT as a child and am still thinking of it every year. For me success is what I do or don't make of it, and failure much the same. Every moment is precious and hiking the AT has offered the gift of meeting lots of amazing people on and off trail, being in some beautiful and not so beautiful places, and tons of learning.

There are now so many 'definitions' of what is or is not a thru-hike or whether you succeed or fail, IMHO, this is entirely up to you. I can say whether I finish the trail or ever even do a thru-hike is becoming less and less important as I grow older. I walk and hike for the love of it, for the journey and the blessings of the day.

Whatever you decide for yourself, may your journey be a gentle one.

WalksInDark
07-05-2012, 00:11
Last summer I started doing sections to see if I really wanted to to do a "through." :-? After weeks of sections I was still unsure of what I might enjoy more: sections or through. During (what turned out to be) my last section hike I had an unfortunate accident. While hiking a side trail off of the A.T. I had two things happen within close time/distance proximity of each other (bear in mind that I had been out backpacking in 100+ degree weather...and this particular day the temp was 104): first I nearly sat on a "nearly perfectly camouflaged" nest of baby poisonous snakes :eek:; minutes later, while hiking down a particularly steep incline my eyes/awareness were drawn off trail by a strange collection of small highly fluorescent flags :confused: that someone had stuck in the rocks about 5' away from the actual trail. Long story short, I got distracted from my descent, my eyes drifted away from the trail to the colorful miniature flags, and my left boot struck a rock.....and I fell face forward ---it happened so fast I never even got my hands and/or trekking poles away from my body--- and struck my forehead directly and firmly on a large rock. :(After a brief period of unconsciousness, I very slowly figured out what happened...got my pack off of my back...took out my first aid kit...got myself somewhat cleaned up....picked myself up and solo hiked 3 hours back out to the trail head.

During the following week, while I recuperated and suffered through my concussion recovery period, I had time to think about my A.T. hiking experience. Two weeks post injury, my symptoms were pretty much confined to recurring headaches, aversion to bright light, somewhat limited heat tolerance, and a large bloody scab covering the left side of my forehead and parts of my nose. By week 4 post accident my only obvious symptom was my very slowly healing forehead. (Nearly one year later, the area of my forehead which was damaged is still noticeably lighter than the rest of my head. Given that I was somewhat goofy before the accident, I cannot say with any certainty that I am any less goofy today, LOL.)

Research and well meaning friends convinced me that I was done hiking for a minimum of 6 months. (If you look at the head trauma studies you too will find that a second concussion within a time period of less than 6 months is much more likely to cause permanent and/or much more damaging trauma than the original injury/trauma.) Ergo, I was not longer a hiker at all.

For the first months, I did feel badly about how everything turned out and was bummed that my "Hike The A.T. Plan" did not reach fruition. :datzLater, I came to accept that I was lucky to have had each and every hour on the trail that I got to experience. For me it came down to the journey....not the destination. :)

If I every felt as if I needed a "Badge" to show the world my hiking prowess (not very likely), I got my wish in spades: my big pale forehead spot is quite the conversation starter! Hopefully, over time, the pale forehead spot will go....but the memory of nearly putting my dead butte on top of live poisonous snakes....then knocking myself unconscious and bloody on the trial....and finally picking myself up....cleaning the bigger rocks out of my head....and hiking back to my car...will stay with me as long as I live.

Success? No.
Failure? No.
Another important life experience: Definitely Yes!

rocketsocks
07-05-2012, 00:49
Thanks for sharing that WalksinDark, I sure hope your able to get there again one...if you wish, and that that light spot brings you many hours of meeting new and interesting people in lifes journey, happy trails.

stranger
07-05-2012, 03:12
I tried 2 thru's and quit on both, Pearisburg, then Atkins ... I don't consider either hike a failure, however, they were failed thru-hike attempts. Another time I sectioned 500 miles on the AT, I also got a Long Trail thru-hike and a Northville-Placid trail thru-hike.

Failures??? Seems like a strange way to describe walking hundreds of miles, but maybe for some it's black and white.

In 2002 I moved to New Zealand on a whim and it was the best experience of my life, I've never returned to the US to live, just have it too good down here. That would of NEVER happened if not for my decisions to hike earlier in life, quitting jobs, taking risks, etc... So sure, my 1995 thru-hike attempt was a technical failure, but it led to bigger, bolder and life changing experiences down the road, so I am very grateful for that experience.

Thirsty DPD
07-05-2012, 08:24
[QUOTE=MuddyWaters;1307602]Success, or failure, depends on whether or not the glass is half-empty, or half-full.

Great discoveries have been made by eliminating "what doesnt work", as opposed to but isn't it okay to just see the glassdiscovering"what does".[/QUOTE.

but isn't it okay to just see the glass?


What's my perspective when I look at the glass. If I don't try something, I'm safe, but the glass I'm looking at is empty, empty........I'm empty, I won't fail but I won't succeed. If I try, I might fail, might even succeed. It's about my perspective, even in my failure there is growth, (success). I don't live my life for patches, atta boy's, even though a little recognition is nice once in a while. I'm the only one measuring my success & failure, it's my perspective, not anyone else's. If I leave it all on the field everyday, I win........even if I'm second, third, or last. For me, it's all about the passion I bring to the game. At the end of the day I need to honestly answer, 'Did I leave it all on the field today?'

Capt Nat
07-05-2012, 08:54
If its about the patch, my wife has an embroidery business and can make them herself. I can see how personal and different everyone here is. I'm going to hike. I'm blocking out 6 months timewise. If I decide to hike back and forth between Hot Springs and Damascus for 6 months, that is obviously making me happy. I will probably walk in one direction until I'm no longer having fun. Success, failure, call it whatever you want. For me, not only is there no profit in a purist through hike, it's costing me a lot of money. I'm going to do it for enjoyment. I may white blaze, blue blaze, yellow blaze, aqua blaze, or whatever to have fun. If I get a patch from ATC or my wife, where will I wear it? Who will care? Mine is bigger than yours.

coach lou
07-05-2012, 08:56
If its about the patch, my wife has an embroidery business and can make them herself. I can see how personal and different everyone here is. I'm going to hike. I'm blocking out 6 months timewise. If I decide to hike back and forth between Hot Springs and Damascus for 6 months, that is obviously making me happy. I will probably walk in one direction until I'm no longer having fun. Success, failure, call it whatever you want. For me, not only is there no profit in a purist through hike, it's costing me a lot of money. I'm going to do it for enjoyment. I may white blaze, blue blaze, yellow blaze, aqua blaze, or whatever to have fun. If I get a patch from ATC or my wife, where will I wear it? Who will care? Mine is bigger than yours.

I'm on the same page Skipper!

hikerboy57
07-05-2012, 09:22
me too! lets just hike till were finished hiking. we can always go back and do some more.

4shot
07-05-2012, 10:06
[QUOTE=singing wind;1307614 I can say whether I finish the trail or ever even do a thru-hike is becoming less and less important as I grow older. I walk and hike for the love of it, for the journey and the blessings of the day. [/QUOTE]

to repeat what was said above, there is a diversity of opinions here. For example, as I hit 50 I reacted differently...I felt that the things I had always wanted to do (such as my thru hike) are more important than before...I no longer can postpone things until "later" or "someday" like I did as a child and young man. Of course it helps that other things have been accomplished (i.e. my boys are now grown). I don't take things (like tomorrow) for granted as much and try to do as many of the things I used to put off as I possibly can.

Completing my hike was a great feeling...it was a lifelong dream and I was able to "scratch that itch". With that being said, I have since done two section hikes and found them to be great in a different sort of way (maybe even more "fun" as I was out for a fixed amount of time rather than a fixed amount of miles). Two completely different hikes, both great in their unique ways.

Coffee Rules!
07-06-2012, 05:36
I think I'll define success by getting what I'm looking for out of the experience. Now I just need to figure out exactly what I'm looking for.

Failure? Mehh. If I walk but a hundred miles, enjoy the experience and gain something from it, how is it a failure? My intent will be a thru hike. Goal? I've never been goal oriented.

Odd Man Out
07-06-2012, 08:31
I think I'll define success by getting what I'm looking for out of the experience.

Not sure when my next long distance hike will be, but it will probably be a "through hike", that is, I will hike until I am through. Can't fail at that!

Coffee Rules!
07-06-2012, 16:52
Odd Man Out, I like it even if you are from That State Up North. :p

Penn-J
07-06-2012, 22:43
If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal that is your success. -Henry David Thoreau

Hairbear
07-06-2012, 23:08
success inspires resentment in others, failure inspires resentment in self .

kayak karl
07-06-2012, 23:25
success inspires resentment in others, failure inspires resentment in self .
for a resentful person, yes. not all resent themselves when they fail, and as for success, who cares how others feel.

Supreme Being
07-06-2012, 23:36
success inspires resentment in others, failure inspires resentment in self .

Excellent quote.

Hairbear
07-06-2012, 23:41
for a resentful person, yes. not all resent themselves when they fail, and as for success, who cares how others feel.
your right perhaps i should have used frustration instead of resentment

Hairbear
07-07-2012, 00:31
your right perhaps i should have used frustration instead of resentment after some rethought i think i better stand on the success side, and down grade resentment to frustration on the self side.thanks for making me think

Hairbear
07-07-2012, 00:40
Excellent quote. thanks this seems akward because im a newbie here but welcome to white blaze

WIAPilot
07-07-2012, 07:35
Everyone views "success" differently, but this is my own personal take: I think that you also need to be very honest with yourself and that is often difficult because many people find it almost impossible to admit that they have failed at something that was important to them. If your goal is to hike the entire 2,184 miles (or current length at the time) and you fall short of that, you have failed. It may be due to injury, it may be because you no longer were having fun, it may be because of a family situation - it could be a hundred different reasons, but if that was your goal - then you have failed in that particular goal. You may have had a blast; you may have learned many things; you may have had the best time of your life; but you did not accomplish your goal and to say otherwise is simply rationalizing it.

On the other hand: If your whole intent was to only hike until you wanted to stop; if you had no desire to hike the entire AT; if you were never fully committed to hiking a thru and you think that the whole 2000 Miler status is a farce - well, there's your answer right there.

What I think is so important about failure (on the AT or anything else in life) is that by admitting it, you figure out how to be successful the next time...if it is still important to you.

hikerboy57
07-07-2012, 07:41
Imho Success and failure are just 2 more labels. Reality is never black and white. We live in the gray areas. Success and failure belong to the ego.

WIAPilot
07-07-2012, 07:48
Imho Success and failure are just 2 more labels. Reality is never black and white. We live in the gray areas. Success and failure belong to the ego.

There are many gray areas in life, but this isn't necessarily one of them. If you set out to get from Point A to Point B and you do not get to Point B, you have failed to get to Point B.

hikerboy57
07-07-2012, 07:52
There are many gray areas in life, but this isn't necessarily one of them. If you set out to get from Point A to Point B and you do not get to Point B, you have failed to get to Point B.

welcome back pilot, but its a bit more complicated than that.
yes of course you have failed to get from point a to point b, but what did you learn?
even in failure there is success.
ask thomas edison.

WIAPilot
07-07-2012, 08:05
welcome back pilot, but its a bit more complicated than that.
yes of course you have failed to get from point a to point b, but what did you learn?
even in failure there is success.
ask thomas edison.

You are absolutely correct. Even in failure, there is success in learning how to do things differently so that you will ultimately reach your goal. But the fact still exists that if you do not hike the entire amount and that was your goal, you have not successfully reached your goal. And the same can be said for Edison. If he had stopped on the 900th attempt of the lightbulb and declared himself, "successful" - we would still be in the dark. :cool:

hikerboy57
07-07-2012, 08:19
Or you might just beside you had the wrong goal all along.

WIAPilot
07-07-2012, 08:23
Or you might just beside you had the wrong goal all along.

True, but you would have then changed your goal NOT successfully accomplished your original one. :sun

coach lou
07-07-2012, 08:35
True, but you would have then changed your goal NOT successfully accomplished your original one. :sun

In my 55 yrs I've learned that adapting your goals to situations and proceeding forward...is success............HB57...like when I walk with you in August, How long is it going to take me to walk how far? Who knows, but......I'll deal with it, and it will be cool!

Malto
07-07-2012, 09:16
If your goal was to thru hike a trail and you fail to do that then by definition you did not meet your goal. But, the whole effort could be a success in that you had fun, found yourself, lost yourself, learned you hated walking, learned the value of training or preparation etc. I personally would have had a very hard time rationalizing calling my thru hike a success had I failed to make it the entire way, but I am also extremely goal oriented.

hikerboy57
07-07-2012, 09:36
In my 55 yrs I've learned that adapting your goals to situations and proceeding forward...is success............HB57...like when I walk with you in August, How long is it going to take me to walk how far? Who knows, but......I'll deal with it, and it will be cool! And I'll be with you the whole way.

Marta
07-07-2012, 10:30
A saying attributed to Wingfoot: if hiking the Appalachian Trail is not the most important thing in your life, go do what is.

Most people who start the Trail discover along the way that something else has become more important to them, and so they leave. I have, however, met many, many people whose hikes were not complete who are haunted by a sense of failure. IMO, it is easy while hiking to be misled into temporarily thinking that finishing the Trail is not that important in the grand scheme of things, but that when one has acted on that belief, one finds that one has acted from temporary insanity, and one ends up deeply regretting squandering the chance to have finished the Hike.

For myself, when I was at my most miserable, all I had to do was picture myself trying to explain to someone else why I had not finished my hike. I couldn't come up with a reason not based on temporary weakness--I was wet, cold, in pain, lonely... I knew if I kept hiking things would change for the better.

I also knew that, if I quit then, my personal goal of hiking the whole Trail would compel me to come back and pick up where I left off. So I might as well finish up while I had the time set aside.

I've met a number of people who are on their third or higher attempted thru-hike. If you know deep down inside that nothing less than a thru-hike will satisfy your inner demons, you shouldn't buy into this "as long as its fun" crap because you'll regret it when a momentary wave of homesickness has swept you off the Trail.

WIAPilot
07-07-2012, 10:36
Marta - I just finished reading your journal yesterday. It was amazing! ​Good job!

hikerboy57
07-07-2012, 10:49
Thank you marta That was very well said.

Hairbear
07-07-2012, 11:00
wise people with a wide view point ,and speaking with such passion i love this white blaze feel

hikerboy57
07-07-2012, 11:12
you know its funny. i train salespeople and i spend a lot of time on setting goals. i teach them to reach a little higher, i teach that the only limitations you have are the ones you create for your selves, that if you can dream it you can do it and that nothing is impossible , it simply hasnt been done yet. i teach them to reach beyond their comfort zone, because thats where the rewards are.
when you set a goal and you fall short, as marta stated, it eats at you. but the key coming to understand the reasons you fell short, to increase the likelihood of acheiving that goal.or sometimes you need to reassess your goal, as i said earlier, maybe you're working on the worng goal.
Acheiving a goal involves focus. a singlemindedness of purpose, and a commitment to do whatever it takes to complete that goal, and that nothing will satisfy you until that goal is attained.
you set a goal, you create a roadmap to reach that goal, and then you take action on your plan. and just as on the trail, in life, sometimes you need to make adjustments.
and everyoe hikes their own hike both off and on the trail, some will attain their goals, some will fall short, but dont be one of those who doesnt bother to set some, it can push you beyond what you thought yourself capable of, and thats where the sun really shines!!!!:sun

WIAPilot
07-07-2012, 12:14
you know its funny. i train salespeople and i spend a lot of time on setting goals. i teach them to reach a little higher, i teach that the only limitations you have are the ones you create for your selves, that if you can dream it you can do it and that nothing is impossible , it simply hasnt been done yet. i teach them to reach beyond their comfort zone, because thats where the rewards are.
when you set a goal and you fall short, as marta stated, it eats at you. but the key coming to understand the reasons you fell short, to increase the likelihood of acheiving that goal.or sometimes you need to reassess your goal, as i said earlier, maybe you're working on the worng goal.
Acheiving a goal involves focus. a singlemindedness of purpose, and a commitment to do whatever it takes to complete that goal, and that nothing will satisfy you until that goal is attained.
you set a goal, you create a roadmap to reach that goal, and then you take action on your plan. and just as on the trail, in life, sometimes you need to make adjustments.
and everyoe hikes their own hike both off and on the trail, some will attain their goals, some will fall short, but dont be one of those who doesnt bother to set some, it can push you beyond what you thought yourself capable of, and thats where the sun really shines!!!!:sun

Hikerboy - You should know what I am saying more than anyone else, albeit you may just be interested in a nice debate. :)

How many times have your salespeople set goals for themselves and then fallen short of that goal? Many take responsibility and come away from the experience having learned a great deal and many achieve much of their goal and earn a nice commission. But no one should stand up at your meetings and say, "My goal was to gain 2,184 new customers. I only obtained 1,000 new customers because I quit when I decided I didn't really want to reach the goal of 2,184 new customers." Well, that type of rationalization would get your salesperson laughed right out the door! (And he would probably lose his job as well.)

Now he could possibly say, "Even though I failed at my goal, I came away from this experience learning how to be successful next time or I discovered that I really didn't want to be a salesperson; that I want to explore new things; or I was not successful at my goal, but I had a great time trying to reach for it."

Because this is how I see it: If all your salespeople start declaring themselves as "successful" in their goal - even when they are not, don't you see how that mindset can infiltrate your group? Is that fair to the ones who spent many sleepless nights obtaining customers (and walking the miles) to those who didn't?

Let's call a spade a spade because in your meeting, I think you would! Now if your goal was to simply get as many new customers as you felt like getting (or walking as many miles as you felt like walking), that is another debate altogether. But don't confuse the two.

LOL At any rate, let's not drag this out. If you feel like debating some more or feel you are right - let's continue this via PM least this go on forever between us. :cool:

Velvet Gooch
07-07-2012, 12:16
Well it's a dog eat dog
Eat cat too
Frenchy eat frog
And I eat you

(Angus Young Malcolm Young Bon Scott) (http://www.acdc.com/us/music/bonfire/dog-eat-dog)

chief
07-08-2012, 00:16
Some people, after a failed thru-hike attempt, spin up a story explaining how they were "actually successful" in a deeper sense. Then they post it on WB for other spinners. It's like a feel good club!

Thirsty DPD
07-08-2012, 02:00
Some people, after a failed thru-hike attempt, spin up a story explaining how they were "actually successful" in a deeper sense. Then they post it on WB for other spinners. It's like a feel good club!

That speaks volumes of WB in general, there's a whole lot of self justification goin' on. A Good ol Boy Club that often supports one anothers misinformation, while creating 'facts'. They justify one another's right to tell people they have never met, that they are inhumane, cruel, inconsiderate & a nuisance to have their companion dog on the trail. Some of the attacks on WB are far more vicious then any dog attack on the AT. Usually the same Good ol Boys that want to look under a man's kilt, or argue that no one should call themself a 'thru hiker' until they complete a thru hike, no joke. Look at their number of posts, lots of opinion, little substance, it's a wonder they ever get time to exercise such expertise. They wear out two keyboards for every pair of boots. Talks cheap, cows cost money. Rant complete.

Coffee Rules!
07-08-2012, 03:23
Well forgive me there Thirsty, for having recently gotten interested in hiking and having the nerve to have an opinion in a philosophical discussion that doesn't require experience. I personally don't have the opportunity to get out and wear out leather. I keep forgetting my place and that only people with over a million miles for every post are entitled to opinions.

WIAPilot
07-08-2012, 06:21
That speaks volumes of WB in general, there's a whole lot of self justification goin' on. A Good ol Boy Club that often supports one anothers misinformation, while creating 'facts'. They justify one another's right to tell people they have never met, that they are inhumane, cruel, inconsiderate & a nuisance to have their companion dog on the trail. Some of the attacks on WB are far more vicious then any dog attack on the AT. Usually the same Good ol Boys that want to look under a man's kilt, or argue that no one should call themself a 'thru hiker' until they complete a thru hike, no joke. Look at their number of posts, lots of opinion, little substance, it's a wonder they ever get time to exercise such expertise. They wear out two keyboards for every pair of boots. Talks cheap, cows cost money. Rant complete.


Well forgive me there Thirsty, for having recently gotten interested in hiking and having the nerve to have an opinion in a philosophical discussion that doesn't require experience. I personally don't have the opportunity to get out and wear out leather. I keep forgetting my place and that only people with over a million miles for every post are entitled to opinions.

Coffee- I don't think either one of us are in the Good Ol' Boys Club on this site. :p And opinions/debate make the world more interesting! How many readers "lurk" on this site because they are too afraid of getting slammed? It kind of comes with the territory. Very few people will always agree about everything. Although you will definitely not find me looking under any kilts...

Coffee Rules!
07-08-2012, 06:27
Well I'm a firm believer in full disclosure.

**Lifts kilt**

WIAPilot
07-08-2012, 06:31
Well I'm a firm believer in full disclosure.

**Lifts kilt**

LOL So much for that GI Joe image! :p

Coffee Rules!
07-08-2012, 06:35
I'm secure in my masculinity. :p

rocketsocks
07-08-2012, 06:37
Well I'm a firm believer in full disclosure.

**Lifts kilt**Two WB montras, don't lurk, and don't be a pecker checker.hehehe

WIAPilot
07-08-2012, 06:41
Two WB montras, don't lurk, and don't be a pecker checker.hehehe

And no flashing! :D

rocketsocks
07-08-2012, 06:44
:eek:yep, let the turning earth hang the moon.

weary
07-08-2012, 10:32
If your goal was to thru hike a trail and you fail to do that then by definition you did not meet your goal. But, the whole effort could be a success in that you had fun, found yourself, lost yourself, learned you hated walking, learned the value of training or preparation etc. I personally would have had a very hard time rationalizing calling my thru hike a success had I failed to make it the entire way, but I am also extremely goal oriented.
Then of course, you might just change your goal as you go along -- something that wise people routinely do.

chief
07-08-2012, 19:56
That speaks volumes of WB in general, there's a whole lot of self justification goin' on. A Good ol Boy Club that often supports one anothers misinformation, while creating 'facts'. They justify one another's right to tell people they have never met, that they are inhumane, cruel, inconsiderate & a nuisance to have their companion dog on the trail. Some of the attacks on WB are far more vicious then any dog attack on the AT. Usually the same Good ol Boys that want to look under a man's kilt, or argue that no one should call themself a 'thru hiker' until they complete a thru hike, no joke. Look at their number of posts, lots of opinion, little substance, it's a wonder they ever get time to exercise such expertise. They wear out two keyboards for every pair of boots. Talks cheap, cows cost money. Rant complete.Since you quoted my post preceding your rant, let me say, Dude, you missed the point.

lunchbx
07-08-2012, 20:31
I define success as not working and if your on the trail doing a thru then you obviously aren't working so SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wise Old Owl
07-08-2012, 20:55
:cool:////////////////////

Marta
07-08-2012, 23:52
Marta - I just finished reading your journal yesterday. It was amazing! ​Good job!


Thank you marta That was very well said.

Thanks!

A few stray thoughts I had during this weekend's hike:

"Fun" is a shallow and transient sensation, it's what a child experiences for a few minutes in a bouncy castle. An activity which lasts for six months had a lot more going on than "fun."

I can't think of a hiring memoir which describes a hike I would summarize as being "fun." my favorite title is Model T's, Walkin' on the Happy Side of Misery. That pretty much says it all.

Blue Jay
07-09-2012, 08:08
Some of the attacks on WB are far more vicious then any dog attack on the AT.

That is quite the statement. Do you actually believe typed words on a computer equate to actual teeth in flesh or don't you even think about what you are typing?

WIAPilot
07-09-2012, 08:19
That is quite the statement. Do you actually believe typed words on a computer equate to actual teeth in flesh or don't you even think about what you are typing?

If you read his statement, Thirsty used the word, "vicious." He didn't say that they were more physically debilitating. And I think your post clearly proves his point.

Blue Jay
07-09-2012, 08:21
An activity which lasts for six months had a lot more going on than "fun."

I can't think of a hiring memoir which describes a hike I would summarize as being "fun." my favorite title is Model T's, Walkin' on the Happy Side of Misery. That pretty much says it all.

Actually Walkin on the Happy side of Misery is also my favorite book and his fun and hysterical thru is exactly how I'd describe it. My thru was fun, even the hard parts. Once I was riding in the back of a pickup into town so hypothermic my speech was slurred and sooo tired I could hardly move thinking damn this is fun. Completing a thru often causes people to become waaaaay over serious about it. As Lone Wolf often says "it's just walking".

Blue Jay
07-09-2012, 08:24
If you read his statement, Thirsty used the word, "vicious." He didn't say that they were more physically debilitating. And I think your post clearly proves his point.

OK, I looked up vicious and I got it right. Teeth are over words.

Blue Jay
07-09-2012, 08:26
I define success as not working and if your on the trail doing a thru then you obviously aren't working so SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BINGO, so simple and yet so elegant.

WIAPilot
07-09-2012, 08:46
OK, I looked up vicious and I got it right. Teeth are over words.

LOL Good try. The primary meaning (you know, the words next to the little number 1) is Deliberately cruel or violent. ​Your "call of the wild" meaning is secondary.

http://www.google.com/search?q=definitionof+vicious&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari#hl=en&client=safari&tbo=u&q=vicious&tbs=dfn:1&sa=X&ei=TNL6T4rYPIfC2QWK8pjnBQ&ved=0CFwQkQ4&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=dbe2c21a0a39028f&biw=1024&bih=672

Thirsty DPD
07-09-2012, 11:36
That is quite the statement. Do you actually believe typed words on a computer equate to actual teeth in flesh or don't you even think about what you are typing?

At times some people need to feed their ego at someone elses expense. They bend, twist, stretch, spin, even redefine, the truth;a statement; or situation, to flex themselves and feel good. Which was the point of my rant. I do think about what I write & choose my words carefully, you should try it sometime. Thanks for demonstrating my point. Words can be "spiteful; malicious", (from the dicionary's definition of vicious), words can even scar.

Chief Dude, I didn't miss you point. I was rabbit trailing it to make mine.

coach lou
07-09-2012, 13:10
Did I tell you folks about the new trekking poles I got... they have a secret compartment to store my 2 piece chop sticks!:datz

hikerboy57
07-09-2012, 13:39
Did I tell you folks about the new trekking poles I got... they have a secret compartment to store my 2 piece chop sticks!:datz

where do you put the via?
we need to start an arguing over semantics thread, or go back to the thread drift thread. or something.

if i wake up in the morning, and noone is throwing dirt on my face, thats success. then i set the same goal for tomorrow.

coach lou
07-09-2012, 13:55
Well before Via, I had this really cool mini perculator. Coffee weighed a ton. Sugar cubes, cooler for the Half & Half, beans and the grinder. Now I took the grounds basket out, stuff every thing in the Pot..... ultra-light coffee!

Airman
07-09-2012, 14:23
If you hike the A.T. and enjoy it no matter how far you go, it is a success.

Velvet Gooch
07-09-2012, 16:42
SUCCESS, n.
The one unpardonable sin against one's fellows.


Bierce, Ambrose. The Devil's Dictionary

rocketsocks
07-09-2012, 21:32
breaking 100 posts

Rasty
07-09-2012, 21:37
breaking 100 posts

You cheated! :D

rocketsocks
07-09-2012, 21:52
You cheated! :Dno, I waited....I'm an opportunist, ;)