After my last blog
post, fan mail flooded my in-box.
The most common question was related to my training regiment. Before my first hike, Bob (the guy who wears
the kilt) told me, "Hiking 31-miles is a mental
challenge, not a physical challenge.
Anyone can hike 31-miles if they train their minds to do it." After
hiking 31 miles, I'm proof that anyone can physically hike long distances-- and
with proper mental training, you can too.
Do or Do Not. There is no Try.
So what's my
secret? I ask myself 3 questions before
every Xtreme hike. I printed each question on a flash card that I can carry along with me on my hikes (see below).
If you plan on
hiking XTREME, then you need FOOD. Not
only do you need food at the top of the mountain, you need it at the base and
on the trail towards the summit. If you want to look like a true hiker, then
you need to be prepared to eat the worst food imaginable (ie: Tuna-flavored
Cliff bars and Chocolate-covered tofu). Here's my advice: just bring a few
Snickers bars. They contain everything you'll need on the trail: sugar, protein, and nougat.
If you answered yodeling, then I'd practice on your balance, because
there's a good chance you'll be pushed off the mountain.
There's no wrong
answer, but if you picked batteries for your heated socks, then you're really
not ready for an Extreme Hike. First of
all, the Xtreme Hike is in the extreme heat of Virginia's summer. Sure, it's a little cooler in the mountains
than on the city streets, but it's not exactly cool. Plus, if you fall in a stream there's a good
chance your feet will be electrocuted, putting you at risk of an on-the-trail
amputation (something Corey CAN do). Technically, I don't carry a teddy, but Beanie Boo's fit nicely in my pack.
My hiking pal: Wishful
I've seen many
people bring flags with their pet's face on it. Planting a flag with Buttercup's face is adorable, but do you want to be an adorbale hiker? You need to send a message. You need people to know: THIS IS MY MOUNTAIN, BITCH. That's why every Xtreme Hiker should be thinking about their legacy and the flag they want to plant on top of that big rock. An Xtreme Hiker needs to put their face on that mountain.
Hopefully this advice will help one of the new participants finish the Xtreme Hike.... I don't want to see kitty cat flags on the next hike!