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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by ATMountainTime View Post
    Good luck man, we've all had hard times. The trail wont heal anything, but it will give you perspective and clarity.

    "Embrace the Suck" - LMAO. Awesome.
    ATMountainTime... you're funny. The trail does heal some things. I know this it true from first hand experience in my own family.

    scheherazada.... it's great that u have found meds that work for you. That's huge right there. It is complicated isn't it??
    Hopefully you have had some "talk therapy" to give you support as well. You prob. know the type of people that you need to hang out with that help and support you on your road back to complete recovery. Hang with those people.

    Sometimes the depression will take on a life of it's own after a while. The original cause of the depression will get lost in symptoms of the depression itself. That's when hiking the trail will help u the most in getting your life back. It works.

    You will still have to push through things on the trail but it will be much easier as time goes by. Hiking the trail is not easy but it give you back your confidence that you can do anything you want too.

    The weight will come off too.

    If I could reach through the computer and give you a big hug, I would. You can do this girl... I believe in you!

  2. #22
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    I have to side more with Hill Ape in this one. Although Magento's story is very inspiring and this could be your catalyst to getting your life back in order. But....Magento, other than the weight similarity, may not have had the severity of the other issues that you mentioned are plaguing you. I am wary when I hear people want to di something on the extreme side of the spectrum in the hopes of altering their situation.

    I think working to save, and in the meantime, biting off manageable goals that provide rewards along the way and build confidence is the better approach. How will you handle it if for say, you have built the event up so large in your mind only to perhaps noy get out of GA or GSNP?

    You don't want to risk falling into deepr depression over it. I would pay closer attention to the comments suggesting the downside than the ones accentuating the positive in this case.

    Work up to it. I think you will find better success that way. Good luck with whichever direction you pursue!

  3. #23

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    I think we're all in agreement here that the AT is not meant to be a cure, but perhaps an anecdote (pun intended)
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  4. #24
    Registered User Driver8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    I'm pretty sure there's not one word above that I would disagree with. You've gotten some very good advice, delivered with encouragement and a gentle tone. We wish the best for you.

    Please understand that taking a walk will not fix the things that aren't right in your life. I don't know you or your mother, so I'm just guessing here, but I think she's probably the one person in all the world who loves you more than anybody else does. Take a walk if you like, but don't walk away from her. If you can work on fixing that relationship, getting healthy, getting a job, and becoming self-supporting, you might find that the depression lifts and your perspective changes about many things, including the AT.
    This may be right on, but it may not. I leave it to you to make that call, sherazada. It may be that a long distance him

    I think this can and probably should be about setting and working toward goals. Earn and save certain amounts of money with time. Get hikes of certain length and difficulty in. Snag the gear you need, within budget. Lose some pounds and gain some stamina, shave time off of hikes or walks you use to measure progress. Once out on trail, set goals to get certain distances - NC border can be a check mark, then Clingman's Dome, then Hot Springs and Damascus, for example. Longer mileages and elevation gains/losses can be metrics, too.

    If you really want it, you can make it happen. Just have to work steadily at it. Good advice for us all. Good luck and blessings to you!
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

  5. #25
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    Hey guys. Thanks again! I might take "Embrace the Suck" as my motto- along with "Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something." And "Fear is the mindkiller." Lol!

    I have to correct some assumptions- first, I have a bachelor's degree already. I'm amazingly attractive, and I have a lot of great friends(thank god!). I have a lot of volunteer experience in ecology- planting trees, maintaining trails, picking up trash. I am the Trash Ninja. I have a lot of stuff going for me. I even successfully ran my own business for three years.

    When I come back, knowing me, I'll probably work any job I can get until I save up enough to start my own business again. I do much better when I'm holding the whip and the carrot.

    I'm not worried about the physicality of trail life- I've already been getting back into shape, and I'm additionally hitting the gym every day for strength training. My body is sturdy. It will adapt.

    I'm just worried about money. So I'm hearing at least $5000, right? More like $7000 is better? Well, I guess we'll see what I can come up with. I hate to keep putting it off- there will always be a very good reason to put it off- but we're not always in control.

  6. #26
    Registered User Driver8's Avatar
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    Sorry, meant to say in paragraph 1 that it may be that a long distance hike will be the time and place where you fledge out on your own, come into your own, and that may good things for you, in your relationship with your mom and otherwise. Again, for you to work out.
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazada View Post
    Hey guys. Thanks again! I might take "Embrace the Suck" as my motto- along with "Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something." And "Fear is the mindkiller." Lol!

    .

    Hooray for the Princess Bride reference!!!! Oh, and don't worry about the ROUS's on the trail....I don't think they exist (except maybe in the shelters).
    Last edited by Teacher & Snacktime; 08-07-2013 at 16:05.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  8. #28

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    Wow scheherazada you're cured. You've gone from fat, broke, and depressed to fabulous in just a few posts. Okay, still broke, but who's counting? The AT should be a walk in the park for you. Keep us updated and good luck.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harrison Bergeron View Post
    The AT isn't therapy for overgrown kids who can't figure out how to get started in life.
    Funny, I just had to point this part out. Anyone?

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaco Taco View Post
    Funny, I just had to point this part out. Anyone?
    Originally Posted by Harrison Bergeron
    The AT isn't therapy for overgrown kids who can't figure out how to get started in life



    Yeah, sometimes it can be or they want to pretend it's some kind of therapy, anyway. LOL!!

    Funny, I've met more than one young hiker that openly admits, they are on the trail b/c they are an overgrown kid who can't figure out how to get started in life. The ones that admit it don't seem partially proud about it...

  11. #31
    Registered User Driver8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slbirdnerd View Post
    Smile. Plan. You can do it! HikerMomKD and Blissful have great advice, as do most of the members here. Read, engage, learn. If you haven't read Becoming Odyssa, I highly recommend starting there.
    The Barefoot Sisters' books, Southbound and Walking Home, are also good, relatable reads. And if you haven't read Bryon's Walk in the Woods, it's fun and informative - lots of good laughs.
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

  12. #32
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    RCBear: Thanks for the reference - I'd like to say that at the time of my surgery, when my weight had hit its highest, I had many challenges that were unpleasant to face: flagging business, home in foreclosure, family problems, blood pressure 240/190 from excess weight, taxes owed to the IRS, debts, etc, etc... What I came to realize is that the unpleasant circumstances of our lives should not prevent us from achieving great things, if we can otherwise achieve them. Despite all the crap, I resolved to have the surgery, lose the weight, take on each challenge one by one, and then become an athlete via hiking and eventually mountaineering.

    So now I hike and climb when I can, in the time, weather and terrain that I have. (Luckily I have New Hampshire handy). I do not wait for things to be perfect. Given the real chance, I would depart immediately on a long thru-hike. There is never a convenient time to be away, so you just have to find a time to do it.

    The trail might not cure your ills, but engaging in an intense, athletic pursuit can do wonders to clear you mind and give you space to solve your problems. This has been my experience.

    scheherazada - "Fear is the mind killer" - I like the Dune reference. Here is the rest of it: "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." From a geeky science fiction novel - I know - but so true.

    Don't be afraid to take on the trail, even if you have other problems in your life.

  13. #33
    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
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    Go for it. If you stick with it and actually do it, that weight will come off fast - - start slow - 8 mile days, build up to 9, then 10, then 12 - - you'll know you have trail legs when you do a 13.9 to a shelter and see it's crowded and just say what the chell - I'll just do another 6.1 to make a good 20. You can do more than you think you can but a lot of your days will absolutely SUCK for you - you'll be so furking out of breath going up hills that will never seem to end - you'll be literally exhausted beyond what you think is possible - you'll sweat, chaff, get blisters, get wet and freeze your ares off in a cold rainstorm in the same day. Over a few weeks things will either get a lot better or (frankly) you'll pull the plug and get off - the choice is yours but you really can do more than you think you can - this is true.

  14. #34
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    Wouldn't you know it ,another Richmonder out there. ***Remember this ; slow & steady progress wins the race here. Good Luck !
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnybgood View Post
    Wouldn't you know it ,another Richmonder out there.
    Smile when you say that.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazada View Post
    So, I'm at a pretty bad point in my life. Not the lowest, thank goodness. But I'm unemployed, my mom is throwing me out of the apartment she's been letting me live in over a big misunderstanding, I have no money, and I'm just coming off several years of horrible depression and medical issues. (Some might say, I am still pretty depressed. You say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to.)

    I'm also 280 lb on a 5'8" frame. (Down from 310.) I've been walking every day pretty steadily for a few months and my legs are catching back up to "walk forever" status- I have good legs. But I pretty much expect some weight to drop on this trip.

    Every fall I dream about an AT thruhike in March, and every year I reject it as a pipe dream. But this year, I feel like, it might be my year. I have always been happiest when camping and hiking; I come from a family of campers, hikers, hunters and fishermen, and while I don't get to go out as often as I want to, I have some experience. In 2005, I ran away from home with the dog and camped in Shenandoah National Park until we ran out of money- we handled things pretty well, and it was so hard to go back to dirty, boring, nasty civilization.

    I feel like I need to hike it this year because it will be my anti-depression; because for once and for all, really being in the woods will reset my brain, at least for a few months, and it will answer a lot of questions for me. And, of course, because I've wanted to ever since I knew what the AT was.

    Anyway! Advice. The pinchiest thing is money; my friend says she can get me a temporary job that ends in March, and I have a few odds and ends that I can do on the side, but one of my friends did a thruhike and it cost her between $5000-6000- that's a lot of dough. I've already determined that I'll need to make sure I'm comfortable on the trail in order to avoid spending a lot of time in town, which I know would be my weak point moneywise. I also know that I'll want to keep my pack light, which typically means either more money or less comfort.

    I'm not planning on hiking with anyone; I'm not averse to making friends, but I'm really doing this to be with me. What I'm really looking forward to are the sunrises and sunsets; the turning a corner and finding marvelous views; the taste of M&Ms after a long hike; the sheer physical enjoyment of little things when you live in your body. I do expect to desperately need hot baths and so on every so often, but I feel like I will love the Trail too much. Love-hate. LOL.

    Am I crazy? Should I put it off and save up like a good little monkey, or should I live off Ramen this year and go gung ho? Difficulty: don't give me any crap for being fat, and don't tell me how risky it is for a female to hike alone; I got that part.

    I am not going to read the other posts... but to the quick the depression is disturbing, possibly to everyone who might post. You are 29 and a yet from your good writing you haven't found a calling - these are difficult times and we as a group can identify with that.


    Focus on the work ethic instead and success will be around the corner... the trail is always there. I suggest you work out each late sunset or morning and bang out a well know three or four mile. Every other week add a mile.

    Keep posting - you are amongst friends.
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

    Woo

  17. #37
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    First, thanks for the Billy Joel brainworm from the thread title. I thought I had blocked out that portion of my life....

    You're not crazy for wanting to hike. Dreams like that are what keep us going, day in and day out, for most of our lives. It sounds like you have some idea of what you're getting yourself into, though I wonder if you understand just how much of a grind it can be over a really long distance. But as mentioned above, slow and steady. Start with very short days in Georgia and ramp up the mileage as you move north.

    Yeah, five grand is a good number, maybe more, depends on a lot of things that you don't know until you get out there. (The weather in March. How much it rains. Injuries or illness. Etc.) But there is nothing wrong with a long section hike, either.

    As long as we're throwing old movie quotes around, remember that it's supposed to be hard.... The hard is what makes it great.

    Good luck and happy trails.
    Ken B
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    Our Long Trail journal

  18. #38
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    scheherazada

    Check out my blog --- http://ChasingTheTrail.blogspot.com --- then leave a comment there or message me here. I'll send you a box of food if it's stuff you like -- left over from my hike -- if you read the blog, start to finish, you'll understand --- I may have some gear and I have MAPS I'll sell you at a good price if you're interested (was just about to list them here) NJ Northward --- try to buy gear second hand or MAKE your own!

    I agree with the idea of working till you start your hike but suggest a later start date so the weather doesn't slow you down and cost you $$$$ waiting out the Cold! Mid to Late April start would give you another month to save money. Or even first of May.

    Hope to hear from you,
    Coosa

  19. #39

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    Given your situation, I'd suggest you just save as much money as you can and set out to hike until the money is gone or you aren't having fun anymore. If you need to set a goal, shoot for 100 miles and put a notch in your belt every time you complete another hundred. This is the way most people should do it because the reality is that 80% of people that set out to hike the whole trail don't end up making it for a variety of reasons, and you've got several things stacked against you from the outset. While it sounds cool to tell people that you are going to hike about 2200 miles, you might be embarrassed to talk about your trip if you don't go the whole way. People will be just as impressed if you tell them you walked 100 miles, 300 miles or 1000 miles. Most people have never walked 10.

  20. #40

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    One of the things you will find, after a few hundred miles of an AT thru-hike, is you'll be accepted by other AT thru-hikers no matter who you were and used to be. I found an AT thru-hiker is accepted for who they truly are -- complete with warts and pasts and disabilities and aspirations and dreams and intentions.

    You would not believe the number of times I saw that transition happen on my AT thru-hike. I consider it to be one of the most beautiful things to observe and experience on an AT thru-hike.


    Datto

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