You’re Not the Only One

“I’ll go for a run/hike on the Appalachian Trail tomorrow.”

“Everyone else will be hungover from their partying.”

“I’m going to be all counter-cultural and go spend time in nature and sweat.”

“Nobody else is serious about making a meaningful start to the new year.”


The trail today was flooded with people of all ages. I wonder how many of them had the same thoughts as mine when they got out of bed this morning.

If they did, we all got a pleasant surprise. We weren’t the only ones who think a new year deserves a good effort.

Sure, it’s not that hard of a hike for a fit person- but it’s no joke for people who are more sedentary throughout the year. So it’s telling that so many people made this their way to start the new year, when they could have stayed in bed.

There were some who went the extra mile: a group of guys who had camped out the night before. There was a couple heading off to do a nighttime run. And there was the dude I met at the top of the mountain, who shares my (sort-of) dream to hike the Appalachian Trail all the way through. We traded numbers. I have a good feeling about it.

I have a good feeling about many of those people. My cynicism about “most people” might be right. But perhaps I underestimated the rest of them. In my choice of New Year celebration, I prepared for 2020 to be a year with a lot of lonely character-shaping. But maybe I won’t be so alone after all.

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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