Hello to Iceland and Denmark. Ordinary Sherpa ranked in the top 200 in both countries. Which is fun, because I have not been to Iceland, but glad to know that my podcast has. Maybe we can do a virtual meet-up and share a cup of coffee. I want to thank those who bought me coffee, who left written reviews, and took action to do something adventurous this week.
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The challenge last week in the everyday adventure challenge was Impossible. What adventure is something that inspires you but feels impossible and we took various approaches to break that down into possibility. Ironically Thru-Hiking the Appalachian trail is one of the things that seemed impossible to me. I have researched the idea of hiking it. Just to give some context for today’s episode here are some facts about the AT with a link to the source cited below. The Appalachian trail is 2,200 miles, crosses 14 states and is the equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest 16 times. The trail was created in 1937 but has been rebuilt over 90 times thanks to a crew of 241,936 volunteers in a given year. On average hikers need to consume 5500 calories per day and most consume a ½ gallon of ice cream at the halfway point and typically go through 4-5 pairs of shoes.
Sometimes there are stories of families doing amazing things that virtually stop you in your tracks. As I scrolled Instagram one day this summer I came across a family thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. I’ve had several friends who have hiked the AT, PCT, and Continental Divide. I knew the amount of planning, grit and persistence required to make an adventure such as this come to life. However I had never seen a 4 YO complete such a task. Harvey Sutton is the youngest person to walk the 2,193.1 mile trail North from Georgia to Maine. As many of my listeners have heard, I love to challenge the status quo and didn’t want to accept that my adventures needed to end when I became a mom. The Sutton family immediately became a story of inspiration for me, regardless of the outcome. I wanted to cheer them on and support them however I could. So today I am here with Harvey’s parents, Josh & Cassie Sutton to share their story of one amazing and inspiring adventure. Giving them a new definition of success spending 7 months in the wilderness, appreciating their time together reaching an incredible summit. Josh & Cassie I am so honored to have you, Welcome to Ordinary Sherpa.
Josh Sutton swore he’d never hike the Appalachian trail after a long backpacking trip as a kid. Adventure is not a “born with it trait.” While some people might be naturally more drawn to adventure it is usually because of an event or experience that nurtures that desire. Both Cassie & Josh had parents with health issues who were not able to live the life they imagined. When living the rat race of adult life, they read 4-hour work week by Tim Ferris which inspired the concept of mini-retirements. While the Everest Base Camp was a spontaneous trip, the Appalachian Trail was a 5 year planning process they worked toward. The strategy they cited was “you make your mind up that you are going to do something is step 1.” It’s interesting how people told them to cherish this time with their son, and yet when they shared how they were going to do that people balked at the idea. You do not need to ask permission to adventure with your family. This is your time, these are your memories, choose the path that you want to look back on without regret. Physically they started training with Harvey around age 2 simply taking walks in the park and not carrying him. Slowly they built the habit of hiking 8-10 milers. If there is a big adventure on your list, with training and the right mindset, it is achievable. Fears and dangers can be overcome with some practice. The Sutto