I’ll admit there’s something insanely gratifying about following the white blazes and churning through big miles, day after day. Ticking off milestones—500 Miles, 1,000, the halfway point, another state line. Getting somewhere. Getting stronger. And faster.
It’s a Wonder Woman level feat.
Humble Opinion Spoiler
But, ultimately, 2,000 miles in a season is just too much. (Mostly because, for me, hiking isn’t just about the hiking). Still, the rhythm and the effort of daily nomadic walking is wired into human DNA. I feel that when the miles and days start to add up. It’s how we’re made to live and once we rekindle the activity, the DNA takes over and the craving must be satisfied.
The trick is to find your personal balance; the right number of miles to satisfy the craving without wrecking your knees.
It’s not that hard.
Before I started my thru-hike, I worried about how my body would handle the rigors of it. One knee had been poking me with sharp pains for months and my back had some issues (related to an unfortunate CrossFit incident in 2015).
Even though I did have trail-related injures that took me off trail temporarily during my hike, I felt my body breathe a sigh of relief in the beginning when I started walking ten or so miles every day.
Ten miles are magic.
The pains disappear. The body renews. There’s time enough to linger. Even milestones accumulate.
What’s not to like about savoring ten nomadic miles a day?