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[at-l] relationships

Re Relationships

It seems that a lot of the outdoor people I meet are married to people who
are totally uninterested in the outdoors. In trail maintenance, that split
is especially true.  Some people enjoy hard work, others would rather be
lieing on a beach somewhere.  Some like the outdoors, but don't feel up to
the rigors of a long distance hike. If you have enough other ties, if you
support each other's goals and dreams, it is possible to do your thruhike
and still maintain a strong marriage.  (A weak one is something else.)  A
lot of thru-hikers have spouses that support their trip in whatever ways
they can, (and a thru hike can take a lot of support).  It isn't easy, and
it can place stresses on the marriage because the two worlds are so far
apart, but it is possible to enjoy your hiking while she/he enjoys whatever
gives her/him pleasure.

I just know that if it were me, I would not be able to give up the hiking
and backpacking -- even for a husband I loved.  It is too important a part
of who I am, what I value, and what I need in my life.  I am lucky in that
my husband and I are both long distance hikers, dreaming and planning our
next adventure.  Yet I know that if he couldn't hike I would still have to
go.  And I know that he would send me on my way with a smile and plans to
meet me every chance he got.  The reverse is also true.  I am a long
distance hiker, and I have to hike, or an important part of me would die. 
One thru-hike wasn't enough, nor a second one, and I doubt that the CDT will
be enough either.  I intend to be one of those 99 year old ladies hobbling
up Mt. Whitney.  Life is too short to deny what you are or to give up what
is important to you. 

My $.02 worth.
Ginny "Spirit Walker" Owen
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