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Living Up to My Identity as an Outdoors-woman on the Long Trail

Living Up to My Identity as an Outdoors-woman on the Long Trail 2020-09-14Leave a comment

electrical bike Residing As much as My Identification as an Outdoor-woman on the Lengthy Path

Hello, I’m Jamie and I’ll be making an attempt a northbound end-to-end hike of Vermont’s Lengthy Path this fall. Right here’s a bit of about me and why I’m mountain climbing.

I’ve all the time recognized as “outdoorsy.” Once I was a child, my dad and mom took my brother and I tenting at the very least a pair occasions per 12 months within the state parks close to Buffalo, New York the place I grew up. I beloved each second of it: splashing by means of creeks in my water sneakers, overturning rocks to catch crayfish, accumulating fascinating bugs in little plastic containers, using round in with my ft dangling from the mattress of a pickup truck at nightfall, attempting to spy deer grazing within the fields because the solar sank beneath the tree-covered hills.

Hot air balloons hovering over a tree-lined gorge in Letchworth State Park, New York

Sizzling air balloons over Letchworth State Park in New York: certainly one of my favourite locations to camp rising up.

My first job was at a city park, sustaining nature trails over the summer season months with a crew of different teenagers and younger twenty-somethings. As a feminine, I used to be sort of a uncommon fowl, but it surely by no means felt that approach. I might carry a superb bundle of two-by-fours over my shoulder from the truck to the work website. I might load up my wheelbarrows with simply as a lot gravel as the blokes. I did this simply to show I might, however to not show it to them—to show it to myself.

I realized construct and preserve trails. I realized about nature, too – determine native crops and timber, which berries you possibly can eat and which can make you puke, measure board ft utilizing a Biltmore stick, and inform a tree’s age by counting the rings on a cork from an increment borer. Extra importantly, I realized that I really feel most alive after I’m exterior in nature, and that I’m able to issues society typically tells women and girls we are able to’t do. I cemented a good bit of my determine throughout these six summers of my life, from mid-high college by means of faculty. I used to be the outdoors-woman.

Quick-forward to right now

I’m 28 years outdated and residing in Manhattan. I don’t assume I’ve ever felt much less outdoorsy than I did this 12 months, cooped up in my cramped NYC residence throughout COVID-19 lockdown, chained to my laptop computer and having the whole lot delivered to me by some bro on an electrical bicycle who works for an app. My fitness center closed again in March, and I’ve gotten actual sick and bored with doing the world’s quietest burpees on a yoga mat in my 10-square-foot lounge in order to not disturb the downstairs neighbors. I do know I’m not the one one for whom 2020 was a wake-up name, a lack of management, a seemingly limitless wave of powerlessness and simultaneous boredom, however…

I need to really feel like myself once more. To really feel bodily and succesful, and to place an finish to the impostor syndrome that’s plagued me in some capability ever since I moved to the massive metropolis. I by no means stopped being an outdoors-woman, however I’ve undoubtedly spent extra time ingesting mimosas on restaurant patios than mountain climbing these previous few years. What’s extra, I’ve spent extra time researching mountain climbing than truly mountain climbing. Once I’m bored, or confused, procrastinating the work I must be doing, I search out data. For a very long time, that analysis was centered on mountain climbing; particularly, thru-hiking the Appalachian Path. I’ve needed to thru-hike the AT for years, but it surely was simply by no means the precise time.


The blogger, Jamie Nash, standing in a green forest

Me in Central Park, Manhattan, NY.

Why the Lengthy Path, and why now?

Although I’ve but to seek out a chance to take roughly six months away from my life, the AT fantasy has gotten me by means of quite a bit. It was comforting to know—even within the early days of residing in NYC, when the crowdedness of the morning A practice was sufficient to destroy my day—that exterior of this rubbish metropolis individuals have been thru-hiking, and that sometime I is perhaps certainly one of them. Though NYC and I’ve since made our peace (you get used to the rubbish scent after, like, 12 months two), the reality is I don’t need to wait any longer to get again to myself. If the pandemic taught me something, it’s that point is a finite useful resource. And fortunately, thru-hiking the AT isn’t the one choice on the market.

The Lengthy Path is 273 miles—a few three-week dedication—and the southern terminus is simply a few three-hour drive from my residence. It’ll not at all be simple, however even with the pandemic to think about, there have been far fewer boundaries between me and an LT thru-hike (or end-to-end, because it’s referred to as by the Inexperienced Mountain Membership (GMC)). I’ve heard and browse that the rugged terrain of the Inexperienced Mountains will make the hike tough, however that’s a part of the attract for me. I’m excited to check myself, to check my health (which, admittedly, has waned a bit since March), and to check my mindset. I need to see what I’m able to, and show to myself that I’m what I say I’m.

Observe my journey on The Trek

If you happen to’ve made it this far, thanks for studying! I’ll be posting extra about journey particulars, logistics, gear, and COVID-19 concerns this week as I prepare to go out.

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