A lot have been happening lately including 13+ hour work days so I haven’t blogged in a while. I had my AT coaching session with the Zach Davis, it was great I felt awkward and unprepared for the conversation but when I hung up the phone I felt completely prepared for the trail. I’m a little nervous about the weather on the trail in the beginning but I will play it by ear once I’m in Georgia. I ordered my last bit of gear yesterday and tonight. I got fleece leggings for camp, glide to prevent chafing, a buff, a thing to cover my nose and mouth, and sunglasses. I was home over the weekend and man do I feel the love, leaving is going to be hard all around. Knowing I have the support of my family is amazing and it will go along way to getting me to the end. Hopefully by the end of this week, if work settles down I will get my mail drops addressed to be shipped. I’m so excited to leave 15 days seems like forever and way to soon at the same time.
Today I told my clients that I’m leaving and they were upset and asked some tough questions the hardest being, is this hike more important then us… how do you say no and still leave? I talked them through it and kept myself together until I left for the evening but I hate to see them so upset. I will be back and I will be able to see them again but explaining that to them was very difficult.
I can’t believe that I leave in 22 days, this number doesn’t sound nearly as scary as only 14 days at work left. I’m not ready to leave my job just yet, I have to much to finish before it’s time for me to leave. I know that they did it before me and they will do it long after I’m gone but I feel like I got a good thing going and now I’m just walking away and hoping the next person can keep it going and appreciate how hard I worked to get things organized. I am feeling more scared than anything else lately, the excitement and prepared feeling had been replaced with being nervous, scared, overwhelmed, and unprepared. I know that once the day to leave arrives it will be hard to get on that bus but once I’m on the trail for a few days I will feel differently. On Wednesday I have my couching session with Zach Davis (Good Badger) I’m so excited and really nervous for that as well. I’ve been trying to compile lists of questions for him but so far everything I come up with sounds stupid and I don’t want to sound stupid. You would think that after 463 days I would be feeling more anxious to leave and prepared but thats unfortunately not the case.
I previously reported that my leave of absence was approved, because it was, however today after a lot of meetings people way above my pay grade had they have decided that they can’t approve my leave, for very good reason but we won’t get into that here. I’m ok with not getting my leave for a couple of reasons 1) now I don’t have to rush home or come home if I’m running behind and 2) I won’t have to worry about my site as much and 3) When I come back I can possibly get a different job with my company… 3 is basically to make myself feel better about not getting a job I love back. In other news I weighed my pack and it is currently 32.4 pounds that is with over 7 days worth of food, all of my clothing (I’ll be wearing most of them instead) but no water because loading up with water was just to cumbersome with going out to weigh my pack. I’m so happy to be at the current weight because it was what I wanted to be at but I compromise on weight quite a bit. Work has been crazy lately working 13 hours a day plus taking phone calls on top of that after hours. Right now I’m off to bed because my day starts at 4:30a tomorrow!
As always to donate to my hike and get your own hand knitted goods go to:
Today I got some awesome news, I got my leave of absence approved!! My absence is for 6 months exactly so that doesn’t leave me much room for any major delays on my hike but I will have a job when I get back. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my privilege and this only makes me think about it more. Because of the generosity of people in my life and being able to knit I can almost afford to hike and with my next few checks and a couple last minute knitting projects. I have been able to travel to different places in the state to train and hike. I just can’t believe that it’s actually working out, everything is falling into place. I just can’t believe that in 29 days I’m getting on a bus, at this point I’m more worried about the bus ride then I am about hiking for 6 months. I’m afraid that I’ll miss my only connection or even my first bus. I’m afraid I’ll get off at a stop and not get back on in time and be stranded somewhere. I’m an organized person so I think I will be ok, I’ve just never traveled by bus before. Also my Bedrock sandals came today! I’ll be testing them out on the trail and inside for not because we had a ice/snow storm this morning so wearing them outside isn’t an option just yet. :)
I’ve been busy… So on January 26th I went in for my regular physical and my doctor found two lumps, one in each of my breasts, I was freaking out at that point, thinking this could end my hike. Don’t worry this story has a happy ending. On the 28th I went in for an ultrasound and the two lumps turned out to be dense tissue (normal) but they did find a small mass on my left breast, I was then scheduled for a biopsy on February 4th. At that point I was freaking out but trying to channel my inner Trevor and not think about it because until we had results we couldn’t do anything about it. Stopping myself from spiraling out of control took all the energy I have but we made it to biopsy day. The doctor looked at the mass with the ultrasound and was pretty confident that it was going to turn out to be nothing. I said “if you don’t think its anything now that you’re seeing it “live” then, you can get away from me with those needles” he laughed and explained it was better to be safe than sorry especially with my upcoming hike. We talked about the A.T. all the way through the procedure in order to keep me occupied, he had some tips on foot care, nothing I haven’t heard before but hearing it from a doctor with a long needle going all the way through your breast makes it more real. They collected 3 samples from the mass going in from the right side all the way over to the left to get it (I know he explained that it was necessary to go the long route but the pain after says otherwise) then they placed a microscopic clip inside so that during future exams or possible surgeries they would find it easily. After he took the samples he was very confident that the tests would show it was a cyst, I’m pretty sure it was the first time in two weeks I breathed normally. I had my first and hopefully my last until I’m 40 mammogram and I was sent home to await results. I biopsy itself was painless but the next day I was sore and had a small stabbing pain at the incision site. I was still very anxious about the results because I have the worst luck when it comes to medical stuff so I wouldn’t breathe easy until Friday. Friday afternoon at 4:25P I saw I had a message from the doctors office I listened to it and was told to call back by 4:30P I called right away and after the lady on the phone asked my several ridiculous questions such as “how are you?” “Any concerns with the incision area?” “Any weekend plans?” here I am on the phone waiting from possibly life changing test results and you want to discuss my weekend plans? I’m sure she was asking because she was waiting for a computer to load or something but really? Finally we got the results, benign! It was fatty tissue, cyst like materials, and a few solids. So I’m cleared to go hike other than needing a dental crown put on. I didn’t want to put this information into a blog for several reasons I was trying to limit the number of people worrying, I wanted all the information first, I didn’t really want to talk about it, and I needed time to process things. I can tell you that I didn’t handle this very well with my friends or family, I was so caught up in it that I would forget to tell a friend or I would tell someone the next step and find out they didn’t know anything about it and in one case I share the news of the biopsy via text message, looking back on it I should have conducted myself better but I needed to be selfish to keep sane, this I know was not helpful to the people I love and care about and I will do better next time. Now onto some hiking news.
I returned my old pack and got a sleeping bag liner, a journal, a space pen, and a few more pairs on socks. Heidi ordered me a SPOT Gen 3 so people can keep track of me back home. I am carrying it because I have terrible luck and am accident prone but mostly because it will make people at home feel more comfortable! I am planning on packing up my new pack and going hiking tomorrow morning with it, on Wednesday I plan to take it to weigh in and see exactly how much it weighs fully loaded with 7 days of food (the maximum I ever anticipate having to carry) Heidi and I have a loose itinerary of the days leading up to my departing from Springer and now the count down begins. 30 days until I get on the bus and 34 days until I leave Springer. I’m so pumped and scared all at the same time! I’ve only got about 15 days that I can still get knitted goods out to people so please consider donating or ordering something so I can make the most of this last few weeks knitting. I am currently working on two projects so I’m only taking orders on a first come first serve basis.
As always to donate to my hike and get your own hand knitted goods go to:
As expected weigh in once again didn’t go well. I have been focused on the logistics of my hike more than my calorie intake, I’ve also been really busy with various doctors and dentist appointments getting ready for the A.T. Tomorrow is a long day at work I’m working 7am to at least 7pm hopefully not any longer than that. I’m not looking forward to such a long day but I can’t help it I have someone moving in tomorrow at my site so that makes for a paperwork filled and hectic day. My goal is to get back on track with eating this week and working out next week, as working out at the moment is not a good idea.