Trail: Shining Creek Trail to Shining Rock
Distance: 8 miles
Elevation: 2,500 feet (bad ass!)
Date Hiked: 8/16/16
Loaded up my big pack, 25 pounds, for up, up and more up to our beautiful quartz outcrop that's so unique and so special and so compelling.
I can hardly believe that I live so close to something so special.
And on a Tuesday in August, I was fortunate to have the thing (almost) to myself.
At least for a little while. Probably because I got up early.
I'm training for my Appalachian Trail thru hike (don't worry, I'm not starting this late. I'm just training early because it's an excuse to go hiking rather than sit behind a desk. Gotta train, right?).
So I'm getting to explore so many of my favorite places, my favorite hikes. I've been neglecting them for so long. And neglecting myself in the process. Choosing things other than the things that I know make me happiest and that have the most meaning for my life.
So, funny thing about deciding to hike 2,000+ miles...
It's kind of forcing me to do what makes me happiest.
If that's what it takes....
Of course, the moment you decide to do what makes your heart sing, your inner curmudgeon will go all in to make sure you feel afraid, guilty, ashamed.
Mine is all in with the fear right now.
So my fear of the week is this: that I won't make it because I hike too slowly. I only seem capable of hiking 1.2 MPH. At that rate it will take me 6 months of 10 hour days, no zeros, no breaks, to hike 2,200 miles, more or less.
Breathe. You will get your trail legs and you will make it.
Breathe. You will get stronger.
Breathe. This is why you train.
And keep training.
It's the only way to silence the inner curmudgeon.
By the time you read this, we will be playing in the White Mountains in New Hampshire. They strike fear into the hearts of thru-hikers who don't know them.
This year we're planning to hike a section of the AT just for chuckles (and so I can get warmed up) and I can't wait to share it with you.
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Happy Hiking, Sunshine!