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  1. #81
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    Nah, what I was doing was offering encouragement. There is a big difference, in my mind. What has happened, societally, is that we've made our kids a lot less resilient than they used to be through simple peer interaction and alone time in which we developed thick skins, bonded, learned to negotiate, and kept in shape (even if it was through moderately dangerous activities and fist fights). The whole middle part of "the story" is missing for a lot of kids now. What happened in "the beginning" that didn't translate to "the middle" here for this potential hiker? There wasn't an instant trophy. You have to get to "the end" or at least to some point well toward it, to get any sort of recognition or even self-satisfaction. That point is different for everyone, but I doubt there is much satisfaction at 40 or even 100 miles into a 2200 mile trail.

    So I was offering encouragement. Being "in your head" means rumination, which is dwelling on debilitating negative emotions and messages. I view what I said as a helpful goad, not some sort of participation medal.

    I teach resilience, and it scares the crap out of me how so many of the kids coming into the military are thin skinned and expecting breaks. I look at it like in a video game, where they can look up cheat codes and gain invincibility. There are no cheat codes on a long trail, or any other hard but potentially satisfying life experiences. You gain invincibility by falling down and getting up, getting wet and dealing with it, getting cold and managing it, getting lonely and slogging through it until friends happen. You get to the vista by climbing the rocks to the top. That's all I want for this kid.



    Quote Originally Posted by kythruhiker View Post
    Are we that far gone as a society that we think we need to mollycoddle some youngster (I'm presuming it's a youngster) and convince them they need to walk...
    Last edited by Greenlight; 05-05-2016 at 09:19.
    Hiking is the best teacher, it grades on a curve.
    AT miles: 255.5 / Total miles: 905.27

    Author of "Hiking Into Trail Days"



  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzy Q View Post
    Wow! So much wonderful advice so quickly! Thank you everyone!
    Our thru hiker found a ride into town and has parked himself at a hotel for the past three days, waiting for us to pick him up!
    Lots of great advice! Perhaps we will drive him ahead to join the "bubble"? Just wish he would get back on the trail and follow his dream!
    Thank you for the advice!
    He could consider flip flopping or doing a southbound since their bubble has not left yet!

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenlight View Post
    Nah, what I was doing was offering encouragement. There is a big difference, in my mind. What has happened, societally, is that we've made our kids a lot less resilient than they used to be through simple peer interaction and alone time in which we developed thick skins, bonded, learned to negotiate, and kept in shape (even if it was through moderately dangerous activities and fist fights). The whole middle part of "the story" is missing for a lot of kids now. What happened in "the beginning" that didn't translate to "the middle" here for this potential hiker? There wasn't an instant trophy. You have to get to "the end" or at least to some point well toward it, to get any sort of recognition or even self-satisfaction. That point is different for everyone, but I doubt there is much satisfaction at 40 or even 100 miles into a 2200 mile trail.

    So I was offering encouragement. Being "in your head" means rumination, which is dwelling on debilitating negative emotions and messages. I view what I said as a helpful goad, not some sort of participation medal.

    I teach resilience, and it scares the crap out of me how so many of the kids coming into the military are thin skinned and expecting breaks. I look at it like in a video game, where they can look up cheat codes and gain invincibility. There are no cheat codes on a long trail, or any other hard but potentially satisfying life experiences. You gain invincibility by falling down and getting up, getting wet and dealing with it, getting cold and managing it, getting lonely and slogging through it until friends happen. You get to the vista by climbing the rocks to the top. That's all I want for this kid.

    All too acceptable in one big pity party to be offended or "discriminated against" or ruminating incessantly on life or some aspect being unfair or wrong or not perfect enough. Move on. Move forward. Move over. Move around. See the mountain top. Step after step after step. Go forward enjoyably. Embrace it all. AND, as you're doing it don't succumb to limiting constantly agitated, embittered, despising, irritated, offended and hateful thoughts yourself. A GREAT example of this is the life of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

    This is all directly relatable to adapting to LD trail life……and LIFE!

  4. #84

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    Just wanted to remind the OP that lost in this thread of chest bumping and bloviating is a wonderful post:

    Quote Originally Posted by gsingjane View Post
    Hello Suzy - please forgive the presumptions inherent in my post. If you read anything that helps, that's great and if not, the last thing I would want to do is cause any more hurt.

    I am getting the very strong feeling from your post that the hiker in question is either your son, or a step-son, or someone in that position to you. This is such a hard thing! You want to support and love and care for him, but you also want to do the right thing - and you're having such a hard time figuring out what that might be.

    I will share with you a bit of insight that I have gained, not from dealing with a thru-hiker son, but a son that has grieved my heart pretty sorely for some time now. That is, as parents we are programmed to hurt when our kids hurt. We feel it is "our job" to fix things, to "make it all better," to save them some of the same pain and heart-ache that has come our way.

    We want to save our children pain because - it hurts to look at them in pain and we want to save ourselves that pain, too. But, in saving someone from pain, you are also depriving him of the chance to grow. One thing that I try and remember every day is that everyone deserves the opportunity to work things out for him or herself. Yes, that will have pain associated with it and it will be extremely tough to look at it sometimes. And of course, we aren't cruel or uncaring about it, and we don't make things unnecessarily difficult. But we also permit our loved ones to experience the consequences of their decisions.

    My heart aches for you because I can imagine having exactly the same thoughts and feelings as you, in this or a similar situation. I can completely understand the impulse to drive up there and try to make it better for him, help him work it out. But, perhaps consider that, if you do that at this particular juncture, you may also be depriving him of a significant opportunity to experience personal growth. Well, FWIW!

    Jane in CT

  5. #85
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    Does this individual have difficulty adjusting to new situations? It seems like they may just be overwhelmed by this adjustment.

  6. #86

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    He still has time to finish. Take a zero, get a town meal, take a deep breath. Then hike on or go home. If it were me, I'd keep hiking till I was really SURE about quitting. I don't know how you can be really SURE after two weeks. He's just getting started; he doesn't even have his trail legs yet. Just sayin . . .
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  7. #87

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    Heck, I don't even start NoBo for another 8 days. He's already 2 weeks up the trail. He's got plenty of time.

  8. #88
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    There are bigger issues here in this story than just a wanna be hiker no longer wanting to be a hiker. He has a thru-hikes worth of funds stashed away and is calling for his family to come rescue him while he lays around in a motel room feeling sorry for himself. He needs his family to facilitate his quitting. If he is going to quit he should do it on his own and not be dragging his family into it. With all that leftover cash he can afford a bus, train or rental car.

  9. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by TD55 View Post
    There are bigger issues here in this story than just a wanna be hiker no longer wanting to be a hiker. He has a thru-hikes worth of funds stashed away and is calling for his family to come rescue him while he lays around in a motel room feeling sorry for himself. He needs his family to facilitate his quitting. If he is going to quit he should do it on his own and not be dragging his family into it. With all that leftover cash he can afford a bus, train or rental car.
    +

    Its no cheaper for someone to drive down (op is in MD) and get them, than it is to get arse on a bus. In fact, downright self-centered and immature to expect someone to come get you. Sounds like someone wants mommys pity.

    If they quit, great. Too many people on trail anyhow. Tell them to grow up and youll see them when they get home
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 05-06-2016 at 06:26.

  10. #90
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    Surely the dilemma has been solved by now... Suzy Q, did he hike on or did he go home?

    I'm curious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suzy Q View Post
    Our family member is a very well prepared thru hiker! Planned and saved over a year, did a 40 mile shake down test hike...
    Two weeks into thru hike is calling for us to pick him up, he wants to quit! Last thing he told us as we dropped him off was "do not get me if I call you, do not let me quit!"
    He feels he started too late and cannot find anyone moving at a quick pace to keep him company.
    Any advice?!
    Hiking is the best teacher, it grades on a curve.
    AT miles: 255.5 / Total miles: 905.27

    Author of "Hiking Into Trail Days"



  11. #91
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    OP, my opinion is that I wouldn't pick him up. If he's got enough money for a thru he's got enough money for a bus ticket home.
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

  12. #92

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    Somebody could get some nice, lightly-used gear cheaply depending upon how this ordeal resolves.

  13. #93
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    UPDATE:
    2 family members went to asses situation.
    Medical attention was needed, and hiker treated at local ER. Given medical thumbs up to continue. Hiker now desired to continue on trail at same location.
    In the morning (fortunately family was still there)... it was very clear more medical attention was needed. No longer trusting the ER, hiker has been brought home to see a specialist.
    He hopes they will allow him to continue, and we will return him to his previous location by tomorrow morning.
    It is all up to the specialist.
    I would like to thank everyone for their advice! I anticipated a handful of responses... and was impressed by the time so many took to offer suggestions! I joined The White Blaze because the AT Conservamcy said it was a great resource for hikers and their families! They were incredibly correct!
    With Aporeciation,
    Suzy Q

  14. #94
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    I emailed Suzy Q for an update since a few days had gone by. Don't wanna divulge the entire email since I didn't ask permission, but here's the short and quick of it, it involved a medical issue. They got it addressed but the condition worsened and needed a specialist. That involved a trip back home, but it appears the hiker is rarin' to get back on the trail as soon as the specialist clears it. I'm stoked for them. Hope it ends in a scramble up Katahdin.
    Hiking is the best teacher, it grades on a curve.
    AT miles: 255.5 / Total miles: 905.27

    Author of "Hiking Into Trail Days"



  15. #95
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    Thanks Green Lantern and everyone else! We hope for that as well!!!

  16. #96
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    Oops! Sorry! Greenlight!!!

  17. #97
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    The thru-hiker who gave me my trail name at Mount Collins shelter joked that maybe Green Lantern would be more appropriate, but I wouldn't have it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suzy Q View Post
    Oops! Sorry! Greenlight!!!
    Hiking is the best teacher, it grades on a curve.
    AT miles: 255.5 / Total miles: 905.27

    Author of "Hiking Into Trail Days"



  18. #98
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    i'm glad all is well & the hiker is on the mend.
    It's far too easy for most of us to jump to way off base conclusions not knowing all the facts.
    Good luck and get well soon!

    Wayne
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  19. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    ...It's far too easy for most of us to jump to way off base conclusions not knowing all the facts.
    ...
    This is true, but at no time previous was a medical issue mentioned... something about how he's too fast?? Whatever.

    However, it still remains that one 40-mile shakedown cruise does not make anybody "well-prepared" for a thru. Something like 8-10 days with a resupply scenario thrown in there would be good, and perhaps would have exposed the medical issue before it got too bad.

    But I hope the hiker in question is well soon and able to continue. That's a pretty rare opportunity to let go to waste without one helluva fight.

  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    This is true, but at no time previous was a medical issue mentioned...

    Yeah, because the family didn't know about it.
    Ken B
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