I’ve been plagued by enthusiasms all my life.
I was going to learn to play the piano, I was going to have a book published, I was going to learn Japanese and I was going to really improve at golf. There are some who have noticed my penchant for collecting wives as something along the lines of an enthusiasm, though voices in that direction have stilled since they met my current wife.
The piano playing is mediocre, at best, the first 27,000 words of my novel form less than a light pamphlet, while my Japanese simply allows me to sit in the back of a cab in Tokyo and request the driver to return me to my hotel, not exactly the Gettysburg Address. To be fair, I do say it so perfectly that the driver does a quick double-take in the mirror and starts to berate me furiously while I just raise my shoulders and look bemused. The less said about my golf, the better.
The point of this is that, throughout my life, I’ve started things and rarely actually carried them through and, at this gestation period of my great adventure, I’ve been reflecting upon that rather trickily self-aware truth.
I really don’t want this hike to be an enthusiasm that flickers briefly, though brightly, then fades away. One obviously materialistic reason is that I’ve spent, or will spend, about $2500 on new kit and clothes that has pretty much no other purpose than to help me to achieve my goal. However, the Appalachian Trail is a dream that was always an unlikely goal but, with circumstances aligning, has suddenly catapulted itself into the forefront of my life. The fact that my wonderful wife is my biggest supporter in the endeavor is another terrific blessing. The trail is staring me in the face like an insolent challenge and I really don’t want to get out of the way. It is deliciously real, tantalizingly attainable and so imminent I can almost imagine those first few steps.
I want everybody to feel how I feel right now, if only once in their lives. I’m excited, a little scared and very ready for this.
No, this isn’t an enthusiasm, it is my time to follow through on a dream.