One year and nine months have passed since I completed my fifth 10-mile hike, leaving a one-day 20-miler as my only Boy Scouts Hiking Merit Badge requirement to complete. That's nearly two years! What has taken me so long? Good question. Time sure does fly when you turn your eyes from your goals.
I love to quote motivational speaker and coach Tony Robbins, saying, "It is your decisions and not the conditions of your life that determine your destiny." I recognize this to be true. So then I must take responsibility for my decisions for the past two years, which have simply taken me down a different path.
City life entered the equation last year, when I moved from the Western Mountains region to the East Coast, and out of convenience I turned my eyes from this 20-mile hike goal as I transitioned to life in Philadelphia. While living in New Mexico and Southern California, I could hike every day alone if I wanted to by just biking or taking the bus to various trails. I had hikes with 4,000-feet of elevation gain practically on my doorstep! But in Southeastern Pennsylvania, hikes with even 1,000-feet of elevation gain are two hours away by car. Even just one big hike a week can cost $60 to $80 round trip, with tolls. So to mitigate the cost I began hiking with others. And soon, their goals became my goals, and my 20-miler goal was put on the back burner so I could mitigate the costs of what, through the process of creating this goal in the first place, had become my hard-core hiking habit.
So anyway, I'm back and focused on the goal. I just need to see the hikes with others as training for the big hike, which I still expect to do alone. I have brainstormed some ideas, like having certain people meet me at different points along the 20 miles and hike smaller sections with me, or even doing the hike as some charity event. But whatever I can muster by June will have to do, because I have decided that June is the deadline for achieving this goal. I'm adding that the 20 mile hike should be completed within two years of the final of five 10 mile hikes.
So, there you have it. This is my goal, so today I'm off to the park to get some training in. I'll post pics later!