For anyone, reality can hit you at the worst times. For someone who is chronically ill, I feel reality hitting me more often than I feel it hits a “normal” person.

I have been dealing with POTS for five years now, but I still struggle every so often with the fact that I have a chronic condition and that most likely I am not going to get better. However, I am determined to not let this slow me down.

I realize that hiking the entire AT is a lofty goal for anyone, and especially someone which a chronic illness. Knowing that I may not be physically able to complete it not a good enough reason for me not to try.

It has always been a dream of mine to complete a thru-hike, and the appalachian trail has a special place in my heart. In a perfect world I would be able to complete the three major trails during my lifetime: the AT, the PCT, and the CDT. But, I am aware that I may not ever be able to complete one thru-hike, but that doesn’t mean that I am not going to try.

Having this goal gives me something to strive for. I wake up every day knowing that if I work out today, it I take the stairs, if I eat all of my meals, then I am bringing myself one step closer to being able to go out on the trail. On my bad days I think about when I am on the trail and have bad days, at least I will be in beautiful country. Any sick day in the woods is better than a sick day in bed, in my opinion.

Reality may keep knocking you down, but it doesn’t matter how many times you fall. What matters is how many times you get back up.




Goals With Chronic Illness

I have found that when thinking about my health and getting healthier, I have to have something to work towards. So, earlier this year I set the goal for myself of completing a thru hike of the Application Trail.

With a chronic illness called POTS, it can be hard to even get up and walk to the bathroom, how can I even dream of doing something like this trail?

Lets take a look at the monster I dream of tackling.

The trail is a total of 2,200 miles and stretches from Georgia to Maine. It takes, on average, six months to complete. During the thru hike, I will encounter mountains, river crossings, and inclement weather among other challenges. I will be attempting a North Bound or NoBo, going from Georgia to Maine.

Why would I want to try something so challenging?

Many people have asked me that question, and it is a logical one. The answer has many parts. First off, I have never been one to take it easy. I have always set hard goals for myself, knowing full well that I might never accomplish them. This is just another star on the horizon that I am shooting for. The other half of the reason is that earlier this year my dad passed away. He was always interested in doing a thru hike, and together he and I completed part of the Long Train in Vermont. This would be a hike that I would have loved to do with him, but because he is no longer able to have that opportunity, I feel as though I need to do this in his memory. I need to at least try.

Knowing that each day when I wake up on the trail that it is up to me and me alone to get from this place to the next is exciting to me. As of now I am working every day to make sure I am healthy enough to complete the trail whenever I want to.

This is the first health goal that I have set for myself that actually excites me. I am excited to get up and work out every day. I am excited to gain the necessary weight. I am excited to get stronger.

The reality is that I may never get there, but it won’t be for lack of trying.