Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Outrageous Goals

When a person decides to make a big life change for the betterment of her health, goals are set for things like exercise per day, calorie limits, end weight goals and the like. But I want to talk about even bigger goals -- those that seem like they're a little crazy, dreams even. I've long harbored a desire to walk the Appalachian Trail. This is no small undertaking. The AT runs more than 2,100 miles through all kinds of terrain from Georgia to Maine and takes at a minimum five to six months to through-hike. I know I couldn't do it now -- either physically or mentally. There are other challenges to being able to take off from life for that much time, but for right now I'm going to focus on the things I can actually control.

Physical -- Get into better shape, not just by losing weight and becoming more fit, but also by gradually walking more each day and then trying some shorter distance hikes, then on tougher terrain. I'm thinking it'll take 2-3 years to get to the point where I'd even want to attempt it with any hope of finishing.

Mentally -- Though I love the idea of doing a through-hike of the AT, I know that I sometimes suffer from anxiety. I think it might be genetic because my mom is even worse than me. But in the past I've read some books that have helped me to manage anxiety. I want to continue to read more and practice dealing with it whenever it tries to raise its ugly head. Let's face it -- the middle of nowhere on a mountaintop is not a place to freak out. Mental toughness with regard to fatigue, determination to finish, hunger, etc., will also be important.

Even if I never get to through-hike the trail, improving myself in all these areas is a worth goal. But I'm not ready to give up on the idea yet.

Does anyone else have an outrageous goal? To run a marathon? Hike across Europe? Sail around the world?

Today's Progress:

Calorie intake: 1,242.78

Exercise: Busy work day, so only 30 minutes of walking. Must do better tomorrow.

Steps: 10,182


Michelle on August 6, 2009 at 9:01 AM said...

I've lots and lots of goals, but I'm not sure if any would qualify as outrageous. Some have felt unattainable forever - e.g. buying a new outfit at Ann Taylor that fits or finishing a first draft of a novel - but I'm having an awesome year and am achieving goals that felt unattainable for years and years. It's a great feeling.

Marie-Nicole Ryan on August 6, 2009 at 9:32 AM said...

No goals physically. The Applachian Trail--NEVER, not for a million bucks would I ever attempt it.

Michelle on August 6, 2009 at 9:38 AM said...

I've walked part of the Appalachian Trail before and even camped out along it. In college, I saw a lot of extremely scruffy looking people stopping in town to restock their supplies near the end of the trail. They never made me want to do it.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on August 6, 2009 at 10:34 PM said...

Michelle, you are having an awesome year. You're very inspiring.

Marie-Nicole -- aww, come on. You know you want to hike the AT. :)

Forgot to mention, I'm sure the AT is a great weight-loss plan. :)

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