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SunSeeker

Melyssa: Slay the Thru-Hike Demon!

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Life Quest:  To be functionally fit.  I want to be able to say “Yes!  Let’s do it†when someone proposes a challenge instead of “No, sorry I’m not physically able to do that.† 

 

Main QuestSlay the thru-hike demon!

In 2009, I had a failed attempt at hiking the Appalachian Trail.  I made it from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Damascus, VA which was about 475 miles of the total 2,181 miles.  This failure has been hanging over me, because I failed what I started out to accomplish.  Since then, I’ve had several successful hikes and a couple where I’ve had to bail for one reason or another, but none were trying to hike a trail from end to end.  I want to successfully thru-hike a trail, any trail, from beginning to end to get this demon of failure off my back. 

 

Challenge Tasks:  To prepare for the thru-hike of the Foothills Trail that is planned to start in September (perfect timing!).  Okay, okay it is only 77 miles, but I said ANY TRAIL.  I just need to complete a thru hike successfully from end to end to slay this stupid demon that keeps following me around.  Note:  I will not complete this hike until after the next challenge, but the main quest will be accomplished none the less.

 

Task 1:  Each week complete one hike with full backpack of at least 10 miles. (Pass/Fail for the week)

 

Task 2:  Complete one three day shake down trip of at least 25 miles.  If any equipment problems are discovered, fix them quickly and not on September 14th by saying “Skunk (that’s my brother’s trailname), we need to stop at REI.†as we head out of town.  (A—if I complete the shakedown and fix problems quickly.  C—if I complete the shakedown, but don't solve any equipment issues before the end of the challenge. F—if I fail to do a three day shakedown hike.)

 

Task 3:  Go to one live yoga class a week and perform at least 30 minutes of yoga at home two other days a week. (A—if I do all three yoga sessions and one must be a live session, C—if I do two, D—if I do one, F—if I do none)

Courney_Gray suggested in a different thread the yogaglo.com website as a possible place to find online yoga classes.  They have several 7 class beginner series in different styles:  Basic Beginner, Anusara, Ashtanga, Hatha, Kundalini, Meditation, Vinyasa and Power Vinyasa.  For the most part, I have no idea what these words mean as I am very much a beginner.  For my at home yoga practice during this challenge, I am going to explore each of these to see what they are and to see what might be the best fit for me.  

 

Task 4:  Give up soda!  This is a requirement of mine before any hike as I don’t want to deal with caffeine headaches during a hike.  However, this time I’d like it to stick forever.  This is very, very, very hard for me.  I am a soda junkie! (A—0 sodas for the week, B—1 soda during the week, C—2 sodas during the week, D—3 sodas during the week, F—4 or more sodas during the week)

 

Note:  the grades are for each individual week and I will average the grades for the challenge by averaging the six weeks together.  

 

I have other activities that I do, but they don’t relate to this quest so I will not include them as tasks for this challenge.  So you may hear me jabber on about the Couch to 5K program or going out on my new stand-up paddle board or bike rides with my husband, but none are tasks this time around.  They will fall by the wayside if they hinder my success at the challenge tasks.

 

Possible osbstacles:

I have a camping trip with my sister in the middle of the challenge.  I will have to keep that in mind when planning my schedule for that week.  It will be hard to do my “at home†yoga sessions with her around…she makes me laugh like crazy….I may have to go do some yoga sessions out on my paddle board….which, I’m sure, will have her doubled over in laughter especially if I go splash, but I won’t be able to hear her.  Love my sister!  J

 

I am house and pet sitting for my other sister for a part of a week in a different city.  It will be easy to make excuses that week.  Need to stay strong!

 

Skunk, aka as my brother, backs out of the backpacking trip for some reason or another.  Will I go by myself which is not unheard of for me, but this trail is a bit more isolated.  Something to think about in the coming weeks.

 

Weather-----is NOT a valid excuse!!!!  Except a hurricane…I will not hike during a hurricane…safety, safety, safety.  At least cold weather is not a problem….I detest cold weather. 

 

So there you have my plan!  Anybody see any problems?   I am open to listening to suggestions and advice.

 

I also want to wish all the other Level 1, first time challenge seekers, Good Luck!  Let us not let the rule changes affect us in a negative way, let us be an incredibly successful group of Level 1 newbies.   Let us support each other and stay strong!  Stay positive my nerd fitness friends!

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I'm liking your plan and I wish you good luck with it and with your next thru-hike.

 

Seems like you've got your priorities in order, seeing practice hikes and kits checks featuring prominently is a good thing. I can't spot any problems, which is even better!

 

Best of luck :)

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iatetheyeti -- thanks for the encouragement.  I seem to have a different type of challenge than most people, but it is the right one for me.  

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I also want to wish all the other Level 1, first time challenge seekers, Good Luck!  Let us not let the rule changes affect us in a negative way, let us be an incredibly successful group of Level 1 newbies.   Let us support each other and stay strong!  Stay positive my nerd fitness friends!

 

I love your positive attitude! I was definitely less than pleased with some of the changes, but it is what it is, and we rebels just need to make the best of the situation!

 

Also, I wouldn't worry about your challenge being too "different" from everyone else's. I think the more you hang around, the more you'll see that as people progress, their challenges grow more and more customized - consider yourself ahead of the game!

 

Good luck to you as well! :redface-new:

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Thanks Kindling.  You seem to have a very positive attitude as well.  My step-daughter is getting married in October, so I know some of the wedding planning stress that you may be feeling. (Seems like wedding planning was much simpler back when I got married.) Have fun dancing at your wedding!

 

Spezzy -- I really enjoy this site and participating in this challenge.  I am new here, obviously, and realize that y'all have our best interest in mind with the rules.  The new rules actually changed the focus of my first challenge from what I originally planned to the better.  Set my priorities where they needed to be. Thanks for all you do. 

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Good luck with your challenge! Re: your task 4, if you're worried about missing the caffeine, how about variations on iced green or black tea as a replacement for soda? But (and I should have asked this first), are those caffeine withdrawal headaches or caffeine overdose headaches?

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SeaSalt -- I choose to go off caffeine before a long hike as the major fluid in my day is water that I filter from nearby water sources which are creeks mostly.  I can, but rarely do, make hot tea or hot chocolate; because I find the water straight from the water sources taste incredibly good, nothing added by the water treatment plant, just plain sweet water.  In between hikes, I tend to go back to soda, so before another long hike I have to go through those caffeine withdraws over again.  Seems stupid, but I've done it over and over.  

 

Random Forum Guy -- for me soda is like an addiction.  I can not just have one once in awhile.  I must find a way to stay completely off of it.  Maybe I should just plan more backpacking trips, so I don't have time to revert back to old habits.  :orange:  Luckily, my husband is very supportive and agrees on my band to have soda in the house.  He is like you and can take it or leave it.  

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I just joined the Druid guild for this challenge, and saw your post there.  Your love of hiking and interest in yoga definitely sound Druid-ish.  I'm just starting to hike, and I'm impressed by your goals.  They're specific and measurable, and you're being a tough, but fair grader of yourself.  I wish you the very best on your 77 mile hike.  I was feeling pretty good because I hiked 5-1/2 miles last weekend.

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 I was feeling pretty good because I hiked 5-1/2 miles last weekend

5.5 miles is something to be psyched about.  If you enjoyed yourself, then it was a successful hike.  Enjoy your time with the Druids.  

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I love this challenge! I can only dream of doing a thru-hike like that. I'm definitely going to be following your progress :)

I am super excited as well.  I love being out on the trail.  Are you doing the challenge this time around?

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Awesome plan Melyssa...   I can't wait to thru-hike long distances myself.  I know you will have the confidence and determination to complete your main quest so don't sweat it.  The AT is a behemouth and I give you props for doing 475 miles of it.  Good luck on your side challenges.  I almost opted for Yoga myself instead of Strength training as I figured it would help more with stretching on my hiking days. Stay focused and positive! ~ Da Funk

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I've been thinking about my at home yoga practice and while the basic task hasn't changed, I've decided to make it an exploration in to the different styles of yoga by doing some of each of the beginners series on yogaglo.com.  The different styles are Basic Beginner, Anusara, Ashtanga, Hatha, Kundalini, Meditation, Vinyasa and Power Vinyasa.  Does anybody think the styles should be tried in a certain order?  I am still going to do at least one class a week at the studio I've been attending .  They definitely help with correct posture and alternate poses when my body doesn't like certain poses.  I am very excited about this part of my challenge.  

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Ok, I love your life quest and main quest.

This new format seemed a little daunting but it has forced us all to think about the big picture.

In fact I'm going to pinch your life goal - that sums up me entirely.

I love the idea of walk throughs and there are so many to dream about. I'm impressed with the 475 miles that you did.

My next quest will be a long distance hike. There seem to be a few hikers around which is good.

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In fact I'm going to pinch your life goal - that sums up me entirely.

 

Go for it.   :peaceful:  I like to DO and I want to be able to do whatever it is I want to do in that moment.  

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Great goals, nice job with all the details!  I really like the idea of giving yourself grades each week, it will give you a really clear picture of your progress.  That being said you might want to give yourself a grade A-F on the soda challenge.  It isnt an easy thing to give up completely all at once, but if you drop the grade based on the number of times you slip and drink soda you might be able to see a lot more progress than if you are just looking at pass/fails.  Plus going from a soda junkie, to even soda three times a week its fantastic and def. not a complete failure (maybe its not exactly what you where aiming for but it's still a step in the right direction.)

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Great goals, nice job with all the details!  I really like the idea of giving yourself grades each week, it will give you a really clear picture of your progress.  That being said you might want to give yourself a grade A-F on the soda challenge.  It isnt an easy thing to give up completely all at once, but if you drop the grade based on the number of times you slip and drink soda you might be able to see a lot more progress than if you are just looking at pass/fails.  Plus going from a soda junkie, to even soda three times a week its fantastic and def. not a complete failure (maybe its not exactly what you where aiming for but it's still a step in the right direction.)

 

Thanks for the advice and I'll take it into consideration.  I've have found where my weakness lies: convenience stores.  Such a habit to get gas, grab a soda.  Ack!!   

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After much thought and deliberation, I have changed the grading on my soda goal.  I would hate to not level up to a guild because of a soda.  

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Your goals are really inspiring! I hope to be in your shoes soon. I read 'Into the Woods' a couple of months ago, and the author said something about how everyone ends up hiking and experiencing the trail in their own way. It's great that you've already hiked as much as you have, and finishing a thru-hike will still put you in a group apart from most people who never get to do something like this. I wish you good luck and perseverence.

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