This post has been a long time coming as I have mulled over coming to terms with the decision for the last ten days.
Wow, even sitting down to write is making me strangely sad.
A wise friend as we were driving off on an adventure wondered at the wisdom of sticking with the date of August 25th, 2016 to head back on the Trail. You see, the leg that I had injured back in August in Maine on the Trail is still not healed. It is now under much more active treatment after seven cycles of infections and antibiotics. I get to see a very kind community care nurse every three days or so at the hospital as she changes the bandage and rewraps it in a full lower leg bandage. I am allowed some walking but no real hiking and definitely no over night camping until I finally heal that wound. The hoped for date is sometime in May
I had been stressing about how I could heal and then crunch the six months of training I have missed into the remaining three. I had already worked out the imaginary schedule for the 1060 mile hike, where mail drops should be and had started wondering about putting together the boxes. I was in a tizzy as I was reaching a point of making commitments to others who wanted to join for sections and not knowing if my body would measure up.
So much of long distance hiking is mental. Once you figure out the “step, breathe, repeat” part of it and your body gains the strength needed it is the head that will keep you going day to day. And for once my head though certain that miles could be covered wasn’t certain of the sense of going ahead.
A decision has been made.
I want to be healthy for the rest of the Trail. I want to recover that strong capable body (even if I go at my slow steady pace). I know I can do it. So my family and friends get to deal with my rather nomadic lifestyle for another year as I put off completing the Trail until 2017.
I will heal.
I will do a few week long hikes this Fall hopefully with friends and look forward to completing a few miles on the Appalachian Trail.
I am hoping I haven’t disappointed anyone too much. Much like the hard decision last Fall to get off the Trail due to the growing infection, this is the right choice for me right now.
This is not the end. There are more blazes ahead. Finding them will just take a little longer.