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  1. #41

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    Regarding the topic at hand, I did succeed on my hike but I had a couple serious health issues, and I struggled off and on with burnout when various factors combined all at once to make the experience miserable (bugs, mud, rain, chafing, knee pain, illness, boring rocky trail, etc). I could cheerfully deal with any three or four of these factors at any given time, but when they all combine, there was definitely a sense of "why am I doing this?"


    Yet you pushed on. As a result you're here telling us of your success. And, telling us how that came about, not why you quit. Another thing I find admirable is that you credit your ultimate success in part to other's behavior, others caring enough about you, and you allowing them into your hike, your life. That demonstrates a leadership trait. What you and the others found is the trail is not just about you or any one person. That's what makes the AT possible, many things and people coming together.

    The people around me, and one in particular, helped me continue to want it. I started the trail solo and determined to be sociable but ultimately independent. Instead, if anything, the lesson for me was how to lean on my friends. Humbling for sure. So beyond the undeniable reasons to get off like a serious injury, I think the stumbling block that might have caused me to fail would be refusing support when it was offered.

    That can be difficult for one inclined to be independent. And, that lesson carries over for you in your off trail affairs? If so do you feel better for it? You also chose to allow yourself to be humbled, not everyone will.

    Good stuff!

  2. #42

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    @ Knight Errant Because others helped you through the challenging times do you now feel compelled to do likewise for others, for other hikers? I already know the answer. But I want to hear from you.

    Could that be one of the true strong reasons why you post on forums like WB? To give back.

  3. #43
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    I went to Georgia in 2015 and never got out of the state.
    I wasn't honest with my home life. My wife was battling alcoholism and we were both in denial.
    I was near Unicoi gap when I got a call that she had been taken to the hospital. I went home the next day.
    It's taken two and half years to get her on a good path, things are going well for now but it's a lifelong battle one day at a time eh?
    I still think about the trail, I learned a lot in 5 days LOL and loved every minute of it. The people were great. I cried every day. I thought about people close to me and people that were gone from my life. The trail does that to you, puts you into a contemplative place that is hard to find when caught up in the daily grind. Like I said I loved it, I think about it a lot, almost daily.
    I'll be back for another try one day.

  4. #44
    Registered User foodbag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rift Zone View Post
    Now that I think about it, I'll probably be the only one with a story to share... can't see many leaving the trail then hanging out here, much less admitting it. Lol
    As disappointing as it was to not finish, the hike has never left my mind, even in its abbreviated version (611 miles). Pronated, flat feet and the accompanying plantar fasciitis drove me off, at age 42. I tried to finish it up five years later, no dice again (300+ miles this time).

    In a few years I'll be 65 and plan to get back out there. Given the improvements in footwear and gear in the interim years, I may just attempt to do a thru once again - if not, well then there won't be be pressure to perform. Time will tell....
    Long-distance aspirations with short-distance feet.... :jump

  5. #45
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    got to Gorham and quit. was mentally tired of walkin'

  6. #46
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    I grew up in Hampton, TN, The trail was 4 miles down the road by the front door. If I went out the back door it was 1 mile across the crick to the trail. I was able to start my thru hike in 1978 before my senior year of college.
    As I neared home I was starting to have an unusual pain in my side, so I decided to take a zero day and have it looked at.

    Kidney cancer.

    40 years later and I am still unable to leave medical care for more than a few days at a time.

    I am still working my way north. A day at a time, a mile at a time a foot at a time. No kidding, I had a buddy sneak me out of treatment and I took one step on the trail. Best day hiking I ever had!

    If "Hike Your Own Hike" means anything then I am still on my 1978 thru hike. I just take a LOT of zero days.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dont have one View Post
    I grew up in Hampton, TN, The trail was 4 miles down the road by the front door. If I went out the back door it was 1 mile across the crick to the trail. I was able to start my thru hike in 1978 before my senior year of college.
    As I neared home I was starting to have an unusual pain in my side, so I decided to take a zero day and have it looked at.

    Kidney cancer.

    40 years later and I am still unable to leave medical care for more than a few days at a time.

    I am still working my way north. A day at a time, a mile at a time a foot at a time. No kidding, I had a buddy sneak me out of treatment and I took one step on the trail. Best day hiking I ever had!

    If "Hike Your Own Hike" means anything then I am still on my 1978 thru hike. I just take a LOT of zero days.
    Your a champ. March on

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    got to Gorham and quit. was mentally tired of walkin'
    Yeah, but was that before or after completing multiple thru-hikes of the AT?
    The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
    Richard Ewell, CSA General


  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by RangerZ View Post
    Yes, itís me. That was the 12th of May in Erwin. I definitely think that I was intruding that night, sorry.



    I know that itís heresy but I did not like the Smokies. I thought the woods were from Grimmís fairy tales - dark, etc. Rain didnít help.

    That stretch thru NC/TN was hard for me. I had some hard days and wasnít enjoying the hike, I could have quit there. The community helped me also. I remember eating and passing time with you both. We were also hiking around a father daughter team, JimmyJohn and Monty Python. They were extremely caring people and I was always glad to see them. I hiked near them until Waynesboro where they got off the trail.

    I was not consistent in writing in the shelter logs. Others have said they were wondering where I was. I did (anonymously) confess my sins at the Priest Shelter.

    I did not like getting off the trail. Iíve been on both sides of the stupid line in the past but getting off when I did was definitely on the smart side. My knee had been bothering me for a while thru northern VA.

    Iím glad that you made it to Katahdin. Next year for me.
    Not intruding at all! ATM and I didn't need more time for just the two of us. If there's one thing that meeting a significant other on a thru-hike provides, it's plenty of opportunities for meals together, even if that's usually tuna tortillas sitting on a rock, haha. It was nice to mix it up whenever we could eat with other hikers while in town.

    I also found the Smokies dark and eerie, but in a pleasant way. Less Brothers Grimm and more Robert Frost: "The woods are lovely, dark, and deep" and so on. Funny how different parts of the trail strike people differently. Vermont was my least favorite state, but when I say that, people think it's blasphemy. And it's true, if the circumstances (mental, physical, weather, etc) had been different, I might have perceived it very differently. Who knows!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood;
    That can be difficult for one inclined to be independent. And, that lesson carries over for you in your off trail affairs? If so do you feel better for it? You also chose to allow yourself to be humbled, not everyone will.


    My off trail affairs have been mostly on pause... I've done a little bit of editing work online since finishing in October and I'm moving to Malaysia for a short teaching contract next week (
    ) but otherwise I've mainly been dog/house -sitting for various family members while applying for jobs. Not sure if the pups care much about my newfound thru-hiker wisdom, but perhaps there's some humility to be gained there, too, haha. More seriously though, there are a lot of lessons from the trail I hope to apply to "real" life. Next week I'll have a new job in a new country where I don't know anyone. That's something I've done on multiple occasions before, so to me there's something ironically familiar and comforting about drastic change. But inevitably when the adventure "high" fades into a daily grind, I hope I can support others and be supported by others in order to overcome that burnout. As for giving back, I've been posting a lot on FB trail groups and here. Not sure how altruistic that is, though. Of course, I do have a genuine desire to help others enjoy the AT too, but if I'm being honest it's also a coping strategy to stay connected to the trail when most people in real life have already heard more than enough about my hike to satisfy their interest!
    A.T. 2018 Thru-hiker
    Follow along at www.tefltrekker.com

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astro View Post
    Yeah, but was that before or after completing multiple thru-hikes of the AT?
    before. was my 1st AT walk

  11. #51
    Registered User corialice81's Avatar
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    Failed three separate attempts in 2008. Major blisters on a NOBO after walking with gifted socks that were too large. SOBO with a major mental fail that took me off. Another SOBO attempt that ended with a lack of funds.

  12. #52

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    @KE Thank you.
    Rock that Malaysian job. Hopefully, you're not doing it just as a jobby type job. Hope it's what you're passionate about.

  13. #53

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    Hiked in 2014 until Conneticut. Why stop there? I was running out time before I had to return to work. My workplace was very kind and saved my position for five months. I had about a month left, and knew I wouldn't make it to Katahdin at my current speed (having too much fun!). I would be heart-broken if I continued --- and had to stop so so close to the finish. Instead, I flew to Spain and walked the Camino de Santiago with my remaining time off.

    I hiked the PCT last year, and in 2019 I will hike the CDT. If all goes well on the CDT, I will return to the AT in 2020 to finish the Triple Crown at Katahdin! Start on the AT, end on the AT.
    Follow My Hiking Adventures: http://www.youtube.com/SaraDhooma
    Or if you just like photos: http://instagram.com/scifi_sara

  14. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sara View Post
    Hiked in 2014 until Conneticut. Why stop there? I was running out time before I had to return to work. My workplace was very kind and saved my position for five months. I had about a month left, and knew I wouldn't make it to Katahdin at my current speed (having too much fun!). I would be heart-broken if I continued --- and had to stop so so close to the finish. Instead, I flew to Spain and walked the Camino de Santiago with my remaining time off.

    I hiked the PCT last year, and in 2019 I will hike the CDT. If all goes well on the CDT, I will return to the AT in 2020 to finish the Triple Crown at Katahdin! Start on the AT, end on the AT.
    Nice story. But did you finish the Camino in one month? Of what i know, the Camino de Santiago is not a single trail, but more like a network of trails between France and Spain. how did you choose your trail?

  15. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by stephanD View Post
    Nice story. But did you finish the Camino in one month? Of what i know, the Camino de Santiago is not a single trail, but more like a network of trails between France and Spain. how did you choose your trail?
    Sorry, yes I should have specified! I walked the Camino Frances from St.Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago de Compostela in 24 days, then continued onwards to Finisterre & Muxia. I chose to walk the Camino Frances because it was the most popular, and famous route. I had my AT trail legs so it was very easy to walk long-distances on the relatively flat terrain. It was 560 miles in 28 days.

    Since 2014, I have walked the Portugese, Le-Puy, Ingles, Norte, Kerry, Via de la Plata, Sanabres, Ruta de la Lana and Malaga Mozarabe Caminos, I am addicted!!! I'll complete the Camino Salvador and Camino Primitivo after the Continental Divide Trail this fall.
    Last edited by Sara; 01-14-2019 at 13:04.
    Follow My Hiking Adventures: http://www.youtube.com/SaraDhooma
    Or if you just like photos: http://instagram.com/scifi_sara

  16. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    got to Gorham and quit. was mentally tired of walkin'
    But, it's just walkin'.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sara View Post
    Sorry, yes I should have specified! I walked the Camino Frances from St.Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago de Compostela in 24 days, then continued onwards to Finisterre & Muxia. I chose to walk the Camino Frances because it was the most popular, and famous route. I had my AT trail legs so it was very easy to walk long-distances on the relatively flat terrain. It was 560 miles in 28 days.

    Since 2014, I have walked the Portugese, Le-Puy, Ingles, Norte, Kerry, Via de la Plata, Sanabres, Ruta de la Lana and Malaga Mozarabe Caminos, I am addicted!!! I'll complete the Camino Salvador and Camino Primitivo after the Continental Divide Trail this fall.
    It's amazing that you can keep a job with all this going on! Congrats on all of your accomplishments!

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    But, it's just walkin'.
    yup. that's all it is

  19. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sara View Post
    Sorry, yes I should have specified! I walked the Camino Frances from St.Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago de Compostela in 24 days, then continued onwards to Finisterre & Muxia. I chose to walk the Camino Frances because it was the most popular, and famous route. I had my AT trail legs so it was very easy to walk long-distances on the relatively flat terrain. It was 560 miles in 28 days.

    Since 2014, I have walked the Portugese, Le-Puy, Ingles, Norte, Kerry, Via de la Plata, Sanabres, Ruta de la Lana and Malaga Mozarabe Caminos, I am addicted!!! I'll complete the Camino Salvador and Camino Primitivo after the Continental Divide Trail this fall.
    Wow! Great job! I'm looking forward to seeing some of your hikes this year. Have always been interested in the West Highland Way. Will enjoy following along as well as maybe checking out some of your previous videos! Happy hiking!

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruffdude View Post
    I went to Georgia in 2015 and never got out of the state.
    I wasn't honest with my home life. My wife was battling alcoholism and we were both in denial.
    I was near Unicoi gap when I got a call that she had been taken to the hospital. I went home the next day.
    It's taken two and half years to get her on a good path, things are going well for now but it's a lifelong battle one day at a time eh?
    I still think about the trail, I learned a lot in 5 days LOL and loved every minute of it. The people were great. I cried every day. I thought about people close to me and people that were gone from my life. The trail does that to you, puts you into a contemplative place that is hard to find when caught up in the daily grind. Like I said I loved it, I think about it a lot, almost daily.
    I'll be back for another try one day.
    I feel like it's always good advice to pay attention to the rare things that make you cry. I hope you do get back to it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dont have one View Post
    I grew up in Hampton, TN, The trail was 4 miles down the road by the front door. If I went out the back door it was 1 mile across the crick to the trail. I was able to start my thru hike in 1978 before my senior year of college.
    As I neared home I was starting to have an unusual pain in my side, so I decided to take a zero day and have it looked at.

    Kidney cancer.

    40 years later and I am still unable to leave medical care for more than a few days at a time.

    I am still working my way north. A day at a time, a mile at a time a foot at a time. No kidding, I had a buddy sneak me out of treatment and I took one step on the trail. Best day hiking I ever had!

    If "Hike Your Own Hike" means anything then I am still on my 1978 thru hike. I just take a LOT of zero days.
    Hell yeah. Keep taking those steps! Inspirational.

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