Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Can't Hit a Baseball, But I Can...

Written by: Brandon "Monkey" Imp

To me, hiking the Appalachian Trail is hard! I never thought it would be easy. I never thought it would be a walk in the park or a vacation. It is a lifestyle, and it takes energy to maintain the lifestyle. I have to watch every step I take and every cent I spend. I have to stay mentally alert and determined. I need goals. I need motives. Since I have pushed my medical school application plans one year ahead, I have little to construct. I am okay with this. I have thought of a better motive: to prove to myself that I am capable of overcoming physical challenges.

I have never been physically "gifted." Yes, I am slender, but I am uncoordinated, have little muscle, and care little for athletics. I was the kid picked last in gym class. I played baseball for four years and hit the ball once. I am the opposite of a prodigy. History has told me that I am unathletic and should not attempt to take on physical challenges.

But I can do this. I can hike the Appalachian Trail. I have already walked 20 mile days through the mountains and lived to tell the tale. My mind is in it and I am feeling good. If I ascend Mt. Katahdin, I know my slothful couch-potato days can be over. I still may not be able to hit a baseball, but it won't get me down any more.

If you check out our itinerary, you will notice that we are about one week behind schedule. I am not worried though. We are finally leaving the mountains, where we averaged 16-20 miles per day. Virginia? We will be doing some marathons: 26 miles in a day. People train for months, years even, to run a marathon. We will be doing it often, over hard terrain, with 30-35 pound packs. How cool is that?


  1. What you are doing along the AT is far more fulfilling than hitting a baseball. Keep your motivation up and stay strong.

  2. One step for Brandon, one huge leap for un-coordinated kids everywhere. Maybe you can give motivational talks to bookwork/introverted middle-schoolers after you're done.

    Good job, kid! Keep going!

  3. Shit, you're going to get more lean and mean than me.

  4. I hiked GA through VA last year and also thought VA was going to be cake. Skyline drive is but there are some big ups and downs before you get there. I froze on Mt. Rogers, in the middle of July it was getting down around 30.

    The trail is all mental. Everyone goes through a bunch of injuries but in the end it's all in your head whether you keep putting one foot in front of the other. I am already planning my next hike and taking 6 months to complete it. Planning on doing a lot more drinking and partying in towns next time. I love how every "dry" county in the south still has tons of moonshine.

    Seen SofaKing out there?

  5. My favorite Eagle Scout only hit the ball one time???? Are you exagerating???

  6. Brandon, your 26 mile marathon days are totally cool! So glad it's going well and you are loving it. I look forward to meeting your "stinky" self one day. Mrs. G

  7. Thanks everybody for the support! Mitch, I will be able to beat you up one day; that's a promise. =)

    We have seen SofaKing! We've been hiking around the same area as him for a while now - definitely one of our favorite entertainers out here. We just took a zero in Pearisburg/Blacksburg, so hopefully we are still in the same area. It's weird how you can go weeks without seeing somebody that is only a day behind or in front of you.

    Mommaof6...hmmm I wonder who this could be??? Haha. I wish I was exaggerating! I was really really bad at baseball. I played in IL before we moved to NJ, and can remember the hours mom and dad would spend throwing the baseball with me. Unfortunately it never helped on game day!