As I was breaking down the 2200 mile AT trek, It became clear that the First Challenge would be making it to Hot Springs, NC. At this point thru hikers who are 273 miles into the course, have completed the ominous, though beautiful Smokies, have tested equipment against the harshest weather and terrain, and re-experieneced most sports injuries incurred over a lifetime of bodily use and abuse. I was very worried that one of these things would do me in. The word on the trail is that by now 50% of intended thru hikers have quit. I believe that what has worked for me is listening to the parts of me that know what my body needs, not just to survive, but to be comfortable day after day in this strange new environment. This has been such a great lesson in getting all parts of me to cooperate in a common mission, hiking and happily living on the AT.