It’s all in the mind

I wrote about Zack Davis’ terrific book, Appalachian Trials back in February, and noted his unique perspective on what it really takes to prepare, start, and ultimately complete the 2,182 miles of the AT.  In his book — chapter two to be precise — he talks of making lists.  The lists are formulated thusly:

I Am Thru-Hiking The Appalachian Trail Because…
When I Successfully Thru-Hike The Appalachian Trail, I Will…
If I Give Up On The Appalachian Trail, I Will…

My own personal answers to these questions posed are below, and I am taking a credit card-sized laminated copy with me on the trail.  I’m going to read it every night at camp, and each morning before I hit the trail; and generally any time I feel the twinge of giving up.

I Am Thru-Hiking The Appalachian Trail Because:

  • turning 40 was the wake-up call I needed to realize that I’d rather not die sitting on my arse
  • it is the ultimate hiking/backpacking adventure that few complete
  • life is about achievements beyond the boundaries of our own fears
  • it’s one of the most revered, respected, and longest continuously marked trails in the world
  • I want to be a stronger man; a better, more tolerant man
  • I can

When I Successfully Thru-Hike The Appalachian Trail, I Will:

  • have gained a deeper perspective into who I am and what I am capable of
  • have unwavering fortitude to which I can apply to everything else in life
  • be in the best shape of my entire life
  • have had my arse handed to me daily; and I smiled every time
  • live an influential life, rather than a sedentary one
  • start my own business and manage my own path, rather than following others’
  • be fully awesome!

If I Give Up On The Appalachian Trail, I Will:

  • be no better a man than I was before I quit my nine-year office job
  • be a sayer, not a doer
  • be held accountable by everyone following my progress
  • have issues with trying to accomplish anything in life
  • likely end up back in a stale office job with little to no real direction in life
  • never be proud of myself

Here’s to sticking with it!

One thought on “It’s all in the mind

  1. Great work with the lists David! You’re already way ahead of the game by discovering (and announcing) your purpose.

    And thanks for the props on Appalachian Trials. It is sincerely appreciated.

    Happy hiking,

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