As you can imagine, gearing up for a 7-month-long hike presents a multitude of fears and doubts. Are you welcome on the hike? How will you tell your family and your job that you will be gone for such an extended amount of time? Will your significant other be understanding and supportive? We asked Dave about some of the fears and doubts he had when he decided to make this commitment to hike 2000 miles through the application trail.
Asking Jen if she wanted a personal chef and trailmate
“Jenn mentioned on a phone call early in 2021 that she was thinking about hiking the Appalachian Trail and Fearsome. My very first thought was I have to go, I can’t watch from the sidelines. My second thought was, ”how can I make this work? So after many phone conversations about her vision for Fearsome and the hike I had the courage to ask her needed a trail mate and personal chef. Must admit I was a little emotional when she said yes. It’s one thing to think about sometimes and another thing when you say it out loud. When you say it out loud it becomes real.”
“Out of everyone who needed to be told about the thru-hike this was the easiest “ask”. With my mom being 91 years old there is a ton to plan for. Consideration had to be made for everything from home healthcare to lawn care, to grocery shopping to who will stay with her. My two sisters and nephew Lynda (67) and Marti (57) and Jason (40) were and still are very supportive of my adventure.”
Asking for fit-flavors support
“Wow, here is a story. In March of 2021, I mentioned it to Jillian and Tucker while packing food one morning and almost got laughed out of the Pack Room. I felt grossly underprepared. From that point til Jan 28, 2022, I pondered how and why this would be a good fit for fit-flavors. I did a quick brain dump of all there reasons why this is good for fit-flavors and the story about her and MS. We edited it a few times and changed the format. Stephen, her father, gave it the final edit to have the portal complete. This time I was as prepared as I could be. I practiced and visualized the meeting for weeks before. The support I received was beyond my expectations.”
“This was by far the hardest and most anxiety-producing person to ask for permission to hike. It required a tremendous amount of trust from Karmen. It's one thing to hike a trail like this with a male friend and another thing to spend 6-7 months on the trail with a female friend. I told her about Jenn’s idea one day in her backyard and she didn’t have much to say about it so I left it alone for a while. A few months later I mentioned it again and threw in if we wanted to hike for a week with Jenn. we could. Again not much to say. On a visit to her daughter in Champaign IL we were at a winery and I showed her the rough draft of the proposal from that point on she was supportive of the thru-hike. After getting confirmation from Jillian and Tucker she was enthusiastic about the hike.”