Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Never quit going uphill

'Never quit in town, never quit going uphill, never quit in the rain. If you are going to quit, it has to be on top of a ridge, with the wind in your face. You never walk away weaker, you walk away stronger' This quote is from the book Just Passin' Thru: A Vintage Store, the Appalachian Trail, and a Caste of Unforgettable Characters by Winton Porter. He bought a store on the Appalachian Trail that serves as the first destination for through hikers coming north from the start in Georgia. One of the people highlighted in the book goes by the trail name Billy Bumblefoot and those are his words of wisdom.

When you're hiking 2000+ miles, carrying everything you need on your back there will obviously be hundreds of moments you'll want to quit. When you've just spent a night or two in town, with running water, real food, air conditioning, its easy to think 'why go back out there?' Struggling up a mountain, being soaked and shivering, those are the times its easy to throw in the towel and give up. The challenge is to wait for those glorious moments, when you've conquered the mountain, when the wind is drying the sweat from your brow, that's when you can decide to quit and be able to walk away with your head up and proud. Its when you've reached the top of your game, the pinnacle, that its okay to quit. Most of us won't through hike the Appalachian Trail but we will be confronted with moments we want to quit. On that last set of dead lifts, the fifth public meeting you know only five people will attend, whatever it is, we all face those times we want to give up.

Think about your life and things you've quit on. Did you quit at the point of greatest challenge or at the point of greatest accomplishment?


  1. Thanks Barb! I lived it this morning, I wanted to cheese on the weight, thankfully Zach and Carl weren't about to let that happen!