“I failed to set the Appalachian Trail thru-hike record twice.
The first time, in ’08, my shins went down. The second time, in ’14, I wasn’t in great shape, so with 600 miles left, knowing I was off-pace, I said screw it and went home. That was hard to swallow. But by ’16, I had learned to laugh off bad patches and focus on how lucky I was to be doing what I was doing. That’s when everything clicked: It took me three tries, but I set the record, at 45 days 22 hours. If you can convince yourself that things will get better, they will.”