Fitness tag

Appalachian Trail Shape

Here’s a challenge for you…

You have two hours to cover seven miles by foot.

Easy enough, right?

Okay now add 1,385 feet of elevation change.

Still very doable.

Now- tack 35 lbs. on your back and add unrelenting roots and sharp rocks along nearly every step of your path.

Okay- that’s a challenge.

Oh yeah, and, you’ve already covered 16 miles of similar terrain earlier that same day.

Holy. Shit.

This was how my day ended on Saturday.

I don’t know if you are capable of this physical feat or not (if you are, hats off) but I know one person who is not.

Me – two months ago.

And I went into this in what I thought was decent shape. I’ve done the marathon thing, I got to the gym at least a couple times per week, I even carried a small library on my back while hiking in preparation for this.

But as it turns out- 10 hours of hiking per day for two months is the only way to turn into a hiking machine- which is what I’ve become. Now, eight percent incline at 3mph for consecutive hours feels akin to casually walking down a sidewalk.

I eat mountains for breakfast.

I don’t claim any special genetic predisposition to walking- everyone on the trail at this point is either a machine or in the metamorphosis process. The only real variance seems to be age and pack weight – and not always then. Last week I did a 26 mile day with my buddy Peregrine. Peregrine is 63 years old.

And there’s still more than 1,300 miles to go. This hiking bot is still only in beta.

Awesome Side Note

Remember our trail angel, Jeff? Taking a day off at his house today. This story has come full halo.