Monday, October 24, 2011

My Fingernails Are Clean

I've been home for a week now and I'm just starting to readjust. It's been strange, but sad in a way how easily the routines have been coming back to me.

I got a horrible feeling when my plane took off out of Bangor. I don't think it felt real until that moment that this was really over. I saw the forests and the lakes below slowly fade out of my vision and drop below the clouds. They were gone, or rather, I was going.

The first morning I was home I got out of bed and went out to the kitchen. I stood in the middle of the room for a few minutes not knowing what to do. There was nothing to do, there was no where to go.

I expected driving to feel very weird, but it felt like I had driven just the day before. Going back to work was a similar feeling; it was almost like I never left. And it's been going well, and I'm thankful.
I'm also not sure how to get into an exercise routine. I haven't done much since I've been home and my legs are restless. I tried to run the other day but the impact was so hard on my knees and ankles that I had to stop. Instead I walked for a while and did the steps on the bridge where I trained before I started. The steps felt like nothing for my legs and lungs. I know I need to increase my activity to maintain my stamina but I don't know what I can do right now that is low impact. And I don't know when my body will stop feeling the effects of 2,181 miles.

My shoes don't fit me either! I'd read before my trip about how your feet can grow along the way, but I guess I didn't believe it until it happened. My shoes are snug not only length-wise, but width-wise as well. And the bottoms of my feet are peeling. It doesn't hurt but it doesn't look very nice either.

So, do I miss the trail? You bet. I miss the peace, the freedom, the people. Do I miss the rain? The mud? The ache in my feet? Of course not, but really I don't think of those things. The good outweighs the bad by far.

Well...this didn't really turn out to be the post-trail blog I was hoping for, so I'm sure I'll write more. And I'll talk about my gear in a future post as well. Aaaand, I'll stop being tired and stiff one of these days, right?


  1. Great to see you are adapting to the mundane life so well ;-) If you have access to a gym with an elliptical, maybe that would help. A stair stepper may be good as well, but harder on the knees. If you want to get outdoors, load up your pack and do 15 miles on a Saturday afternoon. I don't think there is a really good way to maintain your ability to traverse undulating ground for 15 to 20 miles in the time you have away from work and sleep.

    Just to see how you do, why don't you hike the circle you hiked in preparation for the trail and report the difference?

  2. Thanks for sharing your journey with us, Lindsey. You did an amazing job narrating along the way. I can't wait to read your gear review as I prepare for my 2012 nobo thru-hike.

  3. So good to hear from you again! I for one, will miss, have missed, reading your blog and will miss reading about your journey. Still so proud of you and happy for you. Glad you've stepped back into "real life" so easily but wonder if you will face some sadness or something in a few weeks or something. I sure hope not and hope all goes well. Keep us posted! I feel as though I know you after all these months of reading!

    Katie, Atlanta

  4. Lindsay, Thank you for the update.

    You have to give your knees time to recover. You just put them through lots a wear and tear. Do light day hikes to stay active. Your feet will return to pre-hike normal after the callouses fall off and the built muscles atrophy.

    I emagine the 1st week or so after Katahdin seemed like a dream. Glad to hear the transition back to the rat race is going smoothly.

    Dont be too hard on yourself, I know its hard but rest. You have earned it.


  5. Lindsay, Thanks for the update! I've been going through withdrawal from your updates! I'm impressed with how well you are transitioning back into "normal" life. That is one of my biggest fears for myself for my thru hike next year. I don't transition well after a weekend hike... I just really dislike the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

    I love the idea of you doing the hike around the lake you did in prepartion for your thru hike and writing up a comparison. Also, the elipitcal or biking (either outside or at the gym, even spinning) are great low impact workouts... but as Lonewolf said... take some rest. You deserve it!

    Have you been in touch with Bear Bag since you've been home? How is his transition going?

    Look forward to some more entries and your gear review!

  6. Lindsey,

    I'm glad to hear your transition back to daily life is going smooth. It's gotta be hard though not being out on the trail, missing the freedom and excitement of trail life. I think I would have cried a little on that plane ride out of Maine.

    Exercise is going to be a tough one. My vote is for more hiking. If you're anything like me, indoor exercise just isn't going to cut it. I can't keep my interest up with indoor activities :-))

    Looking forward to more followups, a review of how your gear held up, and what you'll do different next time.

    Hang in there,


  7. Lindsey, I am so glad to hear that you are adjusting back to normal life. I was watching Seth walk up our stairs yesterday and he is still gingerly going up the steps. He is pining away down here. Thank goodness we have free long distance. I am excited to meet you at last in 28 days.

  8. Bear Bag's momOctober 27, 2011 at 8:52 AM

    I can't wait to meet you,either...! Although, I have read all of your blog as well as your comments under your photos, so I feel I know you somewhat. See you at Thanksgiving :)

  9. Biking or Swimming would be a good low impact exercise to get your muscles moving but without the pounding of running or hiking.

    definitely can't wait for your gear review and thoughts on what you brought and what you ended up keeping/ditching.

  10. Congratulations! Thanks for giving me some good reading to look forward to, and thank you for the inspiration.