I wish my goal was as simple as getting to Katahdin. I visualize it. I see myself on the summit. I feel the sweat on my clothes cooling from the wind. I see myself closing my eyes and thanking whatever higher force got me to that point...Needless to say, I am not worried about getting to Katahdin. I will get there. My goal, however, is to be as present as I can be. To me, getting to Katahdin is just as important as getting to Springer mountain, Skyline Drive, or any summit of the White Mountains. I am using the AT to be my meditation, to be my church/community, to be exactly who I am-- on that day-- in that moment, I want to fully feel the exhaustion, exhilaration, cold, warmth, hunger, and laugher. I want to live in a state of deprivation so when I take a hot bath, eat a home-made meal, or be held in Nathan's arms I will truly feel it and already miss it, in all its glory and be reminded of how beautiful and simple it all can be.
I can prepare, prepare, and prepare. I can be physically ready. However, nothing is going to prepare me fully for the phycological toll this will present. I have read Zach Davis's book "Appalachian Trials" and he had discussed this very topic. I will elaborate more on this book in the future. What resonated the most is that there is no reason why I should not be happy and find joy and love with this experience- though this will require the greatest mental preparedness. I must make this decision actively, every single day on the the trail. I will have a mantra (I will have to think of one when the time is right).
Right now, I am happy. (This video helped :) )