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From the corner of Melrose and Vine: Hello!

    Hi there :)

    I have been doing a lot of reading in many different sources
about long distance hiking. I found many stories about thru-hiking
the AT. There seems to be something very special about the trail
and the support it's hikers recieve from the trail family and the
surrounding communities.
    I am a disabled returning student. I was attacked three years
ago in the N. San Diego County area and I recieved neck and head
injuries. I have chronic neck problems and I have to combat
severe depression as a result of the brain trauma (it somehow goofed
up the bio-chemical processes that govern normal emotional responses).
    I have always loved hiking, and done a fair amount of it. I am
also need to test myself. I have been forced to totally re-learn my
own responses to emotional stimulus.
    I have made the decision to thru-hike the AT in `98. I want to
begin training now. There are a few decent sized hills here in
California to train on ;) and I'm a member of a well equiped gym.
I want to make sure that I am in peak physical condition when I get
to Georgia, so that I may focus my energy on mental endurance.
    I would appreciate any suggestions anyone may have on physical
training. Hiking is has is own unique movements, and affected
muscle groups, and what I know about exercize physiology you could
fit in Keri Strug's thimble.
    Thank you so much in advance. I guess in the spirit of the trail
I'm supposed to come up with a name for anything to do with the AT,
so how's this....