I’ve walked the AT twice, plus another 2,000 miles working as an ATC ridgerunner for seven seasons.. How did I start all this? By locating the nearest trailhead to my home and setting foot on the trail. that one hour let me hear my call to the trail “If I just keep walking, I can get all the way to Maine!”
Next step: a half day walk with my husband, exchanging the car key in the middle. Over the next four years, we built up to a full month on the trail, two trips per year, from over night to three nights, a week, two weeks. There are landmark steps, I think:
- connect to the trail.
- stay out overnight.
- do a resupply and go out again.
- do 100 miles.
I would focus on training on the trail, itself. What I discovered talking with thousands of hikers is that those who have a connection with their Inner Journey more than the physical athletic accomplishment of the trail feel fulfilled by their walks. In addition, those having a true connection and an enjoyment of Nature seem happier and more fulfilled.
So much to talk about! Oh! One thing that makes a big difference is having a method for easily climbing mountains – a breathing technique. Contrary to a familiar saying which I will not repeat here – “Virginia is not flat!”
Here’s the method I came up with: