When Randy Forrest reached out to me so that he could tell his own story of hiking the Appalachian Trail as a member of the Class of 2018, I knew straight away that I'd found a man changed by the experience.
Like many people, Randy came to the trail via YouTube, comments made in passing, and the end of his career. The challenge appealed to him, so he planned accordingly.
We all rely upon good fortune to get us to the end and most of us fear a hike-ending injury. A fractured ankle would normally fall into that category but Randy wasn't to be denied. Ignoring his doctor, Randy hurried back to the trail to pursue his dream and made it all the way, seven months after setting out.
You can follow some of his journey on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXTUWYqN3qb_kQgaE8zG5lg, as well as Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/randy.forrest.79 and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/rforrest719/.
In my preparations for my upcoming hike, you'll hear that I'm still second (sometimes third) guessing myself and making about as much progress at this stage as I'd always expected to make, ie, very little.