Tenacious: Not readily relinquishing a position, principle, or course of action; determined.
My family has had the privilege of hosting several groups of folks thru hiking the Appalachian Trail. It works this way–I stumble across a blog of someone thru hiking, get attached to the writer as I read about their journey and struggles, and that’s that–I reach out to them before they pass through our area and offer them a night of respite from bad weather, stinky clothes, and dehydrated trail food.
The most recent thru hikers we hosted are Mel, “Backfire,” and Jeanne, “Spider.” The fact that Jeanne, a 68-year-old woman (Mel is a few years younger) had the tenacity to even start a journey to hike 2,180 miles that only 25% of prospective A.T. thru hikers complete was one of the things that drew me to them. Meeting them in person exceeded my expectations, and we are so honored to have gone from simply providing them creature comforts to becoming quick friends.
When we hosted them, along with the usual aches and pains associated with hiking high miles day in and day out, Jeanne was suffering from decades-old hardware in her ankle from a previous fracture repair that was constantly rubbing on her shoe (ouch!). Then recently, they were sidelined in Tennesssee for nearly two weeks so Mel could wait out a kidney stone that was causing him immense pain on the trail (double ouch!). The end result for Mel was surgery to remove the stone, because it was too large to come out naturally. They hit the trail a few days after his surgery and have been going strong ever since!
With their setbacks, it would have been so easy to call it quits, to “fold their tent” because of the delay and say they’d wait until next year to attempt a thru hike again (or not). Certainly no one would have judged them for it, but that’s not what tenacious people do, now is it?
Onward and upward to Katahdin, Mel and Jeanne!
**If you’d like to follow along their journey (and you should!), here’s the link to their website:
“If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.” –H.G. Wells
|The kids did not like going down the steep stairs at the fire tower!|
|Thunderstorms were quickly moving in when we reached the top, so we didn’t stay to enjoy the view for long|