Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Success Story

Written by: Brandon "Monkey" Imp

Ringleader, Lightning, and I descended Springer Mountain one year ago; five months and two days later, Ringleader and I ascended Mt. Katahdin. So much time. Such an investment. For the adventure. For the accomplishment. For the documentary. Clear-cut goals. Utilizing every moment over those months to get closer to the end. Every moment mattered. Now, how much time will I waste over the next year-and-a-half kicking in my office doorstopper? It's trivial, and it's really not that important. But I wonder, how much time will I waste turning it over, pushing it, kicking it, moving it with my foot? Time will be wasted. My life is a little different now.

My first on-trail blog post was entitled "My Story." I laid the groundwork for the challenges in front of me: transitions. "Physically, I must get from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. In life, I must get from an academic-focused lifestyle to a career-oriented lifestyle." Guess what? I DID IT. Woah!

Physically, I got from Georgia to Maine over five months and two days - 3/10/10-8/12/10. My legs did the walking. And I did it as part of the kickin' team The Traveling Circus. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, who annually record the number of thru-hikers, recently published the 2010 statistics. 1,460 thru-hikers registered on Springer Mountain, but only 349 thru-hikers made it to Mt. Katahdin - 24%. Ringleader and I were 114 and 115.

In life, I got from the classrooms of Cornell University to the Moffitt-Long Hospital of the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center after fourteen months - 12/22/09-2/22/11. As far as I can tell, my case is fairly fortunate. I am the youngest employee in my immediate group, and possibly one of the youngest Clinical Research Coordinators at UCSF. Yesterday we celebrated my 23rd birthday; having been on the job for only two weeks, I am still the floating newcomer with a largely untold history. One coworker thought I was joking when I said it was my 23rd birthday. "You are SO YOUNG!" she said. "I thought you were joking at first." Nope, I am 23 years old, love my life, love my job, and going places.

So, I've made it. I have transitioned. I hiked the entire east coast. I flew across the country, settled into a new city with no job, no friends, no family, and little money. Over three months, I worked two jobs and an internship for 60+ hours per week and established myself with new friends and a new home. Finally, I sealed the deal with an incredible research position at UCSF. I DID IT. You are a rockstar, Monkey!

Today, one year from when The Traveling Circus set off from Springer Mountain, I feel pretty darn good. What's next? I registered today for the first step of medical school applications.

Oh, the places you'll go!


  1. Fantastic post! Just for the record - the east coast is getting *drenched* today. Some places are getting 3-5 inches of rain. On the ride home from work, my carpool-mate and I were talking about the AT thru-hikers who are just starting off in this deluge. I hope they'll stick it out and be able to enjoy the feeling of achievement.


    Hey Monkey,
    My son, Kevin Schoenfelder also works at UCSF in Todd Nystul's stem cell lab. Check out the link above.
    Happy Anniversary!
    GA->ME 2010

  3. Trekking in Nepal and tours operative takes you that further way to guarantee you has an unforgettable adventure that you have been dream of. Benefit, of course there is the Acute Trek Pvt. Ltd. part of choice. We have your choose (Krishna Adhikari) of Treks Himalaya for 3 days or 30 or more days it depending of your timetable, sleep under lodges or tent. Trekking in Himalaya is an attempt to encourage Nepal to the exterior world while striving to defend an aged tradition as well as conserve the surroundings for generation to come for adventure trekking. Trekking in Nepal Treks Himalaya Adventure Trekking Adventure Trekking in Nepal Trekking in Himalaya Everest Base Camp Trek Nepal Tour Nepal Travel Holiday Travel Holiday in Nepal Hiking in Nepal Trek in Nepal Nepal Holiday Annapurna Trekking Everest Trekking Langtang Trekking Peak Climbing in Nepal Everest Base Camp Trek Annapurna Base Camp Trek Upper Mustang Trekking Helicopter Tour in Nepal Adventure Trekking Kathmandu Pokhra Tour Nepal Peak Climbing Nepal Helicopter Tour Tea House Trek in Nepal High Pass Trekking in Nepal Everest Helicopter Trekking Island Peak Climbing