Saturday, February 27, 2010

Seven Years

It was 7 years ago to this day that I headed down to Georgia for what would be the single most life changing moment of my life, my 2100 mi Thru-Hike of the Appalachian Trail.  

I chose to go into the wild to help me process my goals in life.  While out there I missed the start of a war, the capturing of Sadam Hussein, and a huge black out (it was always a black out in the woods). 

But I did get to live life simplified, push my body and mind to limits that I did not know possible, bond with my sister and 4 other folks that I hiked with, enjoy sunny beautiful views and torrential rain (2003 was wet!), get engaged (I heart Paul), and discover myself.

It is hard to believe that 7 years have passed, although looking at what has happened in my life since then I realize that it has been a long 7 years.  

In these fast passing years I got married and have been married for almost 6 years, graduated college and finally got a full time job, dealt with my father's leukemia diagnosis, got my MS diagnosis (still dealing with this), started running and ran 2 marathons, started swimming and doing sprint triathlons, received my Wilderness First Responder certification - ACA Canoe Instructor Certification - ACA Kayak Instructor - and ACA Adapted Paddling endorsement, and had a plethora of people come in and out of my life.

I will never forget my 6 months on the AT - they seem like yesterday.  I would give anything to be able to do something like that again right now and I had always said that I would do the Pacific Crest Trail, unfortunately with the new diagnosis that may never happen (that was really hard to write).  I would have to lie to say it was always easy out there, but I learned a lot about myself and it set the foundation of strength that I still draw from today, especially with all of this new MS stuff.

I leave you with my favorite quote, one that I look at daily to motivate me and to remind me that trying never hurts, because at least I tried.
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." --T. Roosevelt, 1910


This post is dedicated to '5 Alive' (Cire, Ketchup, Speck, Diesel and Oopo!), I miss all of you and the amazing times we had out there!  Seven years, Holy @%*#!
 Love, Slickrock GA-ME 03


E-Speed said...

I didn't know you did this, what an amazing experience!

Erin Sigler said...

wow...crazy how time flies. I came to colombia for the first time that year...

I love you Jay and are so proud of you and your family for all of your achievements in spite of all of the challenges along the way.

un abrazo,