EHamilton imagainst_the_wind at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 7 08:18:25 CDT 2010

Knowing that down there in Georgia, thru-hike-start season is in full swing (even starting to wind down), I keep thinking, "I started, I intended to thru-hike, I bailed when things got tough." Or sometimes I think, "I was forced off the Trail by circumstances" or, more honestly, by mistakes. The truth is, nothing FORCED me off the Trail. I weighed my choices for two weeks and chose a different path. 

I could have continued..... I chose not to. It was a hard choice and I guess hard choices always leave us with "I could have, should have, would have..." -- all useless tenses. I just realized, within the last few seconds, that the things I keep thinking of that I could have, should have, might have done (that one's the most useless of all, "might have") differently are not regrets, they're plans. What to do differently when I undertake it again, even BEFORE I undertake it again. In spending the last few years of my mother's life with her, I'm being given time to plan ahead, this time with experience behind me.

And I had a hell of a season last year: how many teenagers (yes, teens) can say that within 6 months their grandmother backpacked over a thousand miles of mountains non-stop and then two months later, on just those 2 months of training, became the oldest female ever to complete the most difficult half-iron-distance triathlon in the world?

I think I'm close to getting it worked out in my head. And my heart.

I'm hoping to go from HF at least to the PA line and hopefully Pine Grove, probably next month. I can take a week's break from my mom but more than that would require arranging alternate care.



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