Preparing for a Long Walk

July 20, 2019

What a blessing to have a five-day walk in Great Smoky Mountains National Park! The lush, green, and lavishly diverse landscape truly exemplifies the fad of Forest Bathing and contrasts starkly with my winter desert habitat!

Although my body cringed a bit with muscle soreness since I haven’t taken a long walk since last August, my soul basked in the sensory luxury while my body remembered how to meet the mountains!

Turks Cap Lilies on green background
Lilies line the ridge along the AT in GSMNP

During the walk I received a message from a woman yearning to get out on another five-day walk herself, inquiring about guided walks for next fall. That sounds like a long way away, until I consider all that life might already have scheduled plus the preparation required to create a radiantly fulfilling walk!  

Waiting and preparing can have its own challenges too, as described by a woman yearning to walk:

“Sometimes the desire to flee the rat race and go hiking is so overwhelming that I get heartsick just thinking about it. Any suggestions for delayed satisfaction on adventuring and wanderlust?”

Over twelve years of long distance walking woven with seasonal work has given me some perspective on this. Here’s how I respond to her anxiety:

 🤣⛰👟🏕” Go on walks of any length, around the yard or up a mountain, on a city street or in a parkk, strengthening one’s powers of observation and awareness, practicing breathing, energizing and balancing the core energy centers, and especially writing regularly from the imagined feelings of being on a fulfilling walk as if it’s already occurring.”

Waiting time is a perfect time to become aware of and hone tools of the Inner Journey too! What I discovered by clearing my path to my long walks, taking my long walks, and creating a walking lifestyle is that all of it, each step wherever I am, is part of my Journey. I love talking with women about this often-unrealized aspect of preparation. Sibley describes this well:

“When I was living in a big concrete jungle of a city, I would visualize hiking on the trail during my walking commute to work. It felt a bit silly, but it helped me forget the hard pavement and city smells if I imagined a hiking trail and fresh mountain air and boots on my feet. I also devoured several trail memoirs. But eventually, the best thing I did was pull the trigger on the plane ticket and giving my notice at work, and here I am in NH, less than 300 miles left to Katahdin!” Sibley 

Setting a date for our next journeys, whether walking the Appalachian Trail, starting a new career, or taking up a new phase of life, is a powerful step to take to manifesting that dream!  That can set up the clarity to begin scheduling specific action steps and clearing one’s path! Then what? How do we prepare for our epic journey? I’ve distinguished five essential areas for preparation”

  • Know your trail
  • Consider your timing
  • Attract support
  • Love your gear
  • Methodically clear mental and emotional obstacles

Read details about these essentials and tips for addressing them in my free report: Five Essentials for Creating Your Radiantly Fulfilling Walk of the Appalachian Trail.

Pick up your copy here and step into your dream!

In joy,

Regina Reiter




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