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  1. #1
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    Default Inspiration for Thru-Hikers

    In the mid-1950's, when in his eighties, Sir Winston Churchill was invited to address the graduating class of Cambridge University. When it was time for him to speak, the former Prime Minister, using a cane, slowly walked to the platform. Hooking his cane on the podium, and gripping the sides of the podium with each hand, he then leaned forward and began making eye contact with each member of the graduating class. After a full minute of silence he emphatically said, "Never, never give up!" He then began to once again peer deeply into the eyes of each graduate as he allowed the significance of those words to sink into their conscieousness. After at least another full minute, he spoke again with a heightened forcefulness in the tone of his voice, "NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP!!!" With that said, he slowly and deliberately picked up his cane, then slowly walked from the platform. It was without a doubt his shortest speech, but perhaps one of his most powerful.

    The next day The Times of London reported on his address by stating, "Whereas some may have been offended by the brevity of Sir Winston's remarks, to those of us who survived the darkest days of the Second World War, the Battle of Britain and the bombing of London, those remarks represent a summation of what characterized his leadership and gave hope and courage to an entire nation in the midst of terrible suffering and loss of life and utter despair. In the face of what the rest of the world believed to be insurmountable odds, Sir Winston's tenacious resolve not to give in to Nazi tyranny, inspired us to believe that we indeed could overcome this mighty military force that opposed us, regardless of how devasting the circumstances appeared. His brief address at Cambridge may well have been his most profound statement of truth of all the speeches he has ever given."

    So as you prepare to embark on your Great Adventure to "Thru hike the Appalachian Trail" you would do well to remember theses words from one of the greatest leaders in all of history. "NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP!!!" "Never, never give up" when faced with endless climbs that cause your muscles to ache and the pain in your shoulders and lower back become almost unbearable. "Never, never give up" when those climbs are followed by steep downhills that put indescribale pressure on your joints. "Never, never give up" when you have blisters on your feet, and scrapes and scratches on other parts of your body. "Never, never give up" when you are cold and wet and hungry and begin to question whether or not you can make it and why you ever decided to do this in the first place. Just remember that the lessons you will learn on the trail will serve you well for the rest of your life. Just remember that the experiences you will have and the wonders and the beauty of nature that you will see will only be known to the few brave-hearted souls from all over the world who have decided to follow a dream and to make this trek with you. Just remember that this adventure is one that most other people will never have, but one that you will share with the few that had the courage, committment and perserverance to see it through until the end.....but only if you decide right now that you will
    "NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP !!!!!!!"

  2. #2
    Moccasin, 2008 Thru-hiker TrippinBTM's Avatar
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    I bet he still got paid to do the speech, too, haha. Tricky tricky.

  3. #3
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    So, how did U get the name Preacher Dude? Well said!

  4. #4

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    I have known Preacher Dude since '05 and his way with words have been most inspirational many times. One time he drove all the way here from his home way down south to simply lay his hands on me to pray for me.

  5. #5
    Registered User scottabraham's Avatar
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    His has powerful wording, I too heard him many a times. His is very passionate and a good speaker. "NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP!!!!


  6. #6

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    The information is very interesting. It made me understand something, and it is that I never knew before.

  7. #7

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    That's really powerful!!

  8. #8
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HikerMomKD View Post
    That's really powerful!!
    Perhaps, but not a true accounting of the historical record.

  9. #9
    Son Driven
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    Preacher Dude, the signifigance of the number seven associated with my flip flopped 2013 through hike eludes me.

    As I recapped the bench marks of my journey I recognized a pattern. My flip flopped through hike, of the Appalachian Trail started on the SEVENTH day of the third month (my mothers birthday}. My summit of Katahdin happened on the SEVENTH day of the SEVENTH month. I finished the trail on the SEVENTH day of the tenth month, exactly SEVEN months from the day I started. Many biblical scholars believe the number seven represents completion, and perfection.

    "It is well with my soul"

    Son Driven

  10. #10
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    Preach on Preacher Dude! Good words

  11. #11

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    I wonder where he is now? Preacher dude.. come back!

  12. #12
    Thru-hiker 2013 NoBo CarlZ993's Avatar
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    Great words by Mr. Churchill.

    I told myself at the start of the hike that I wouldn't quit unless: 1) there was a catastrophic family emergency back home; or, 2) I had a lower extremity in a cast.

  13. #13
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    CarlZ993: Thank you for that! It helps to hear somebody else's clear idea on the subject.

  14. #14

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    Um? Never giving up has got a lot of people killed for nothing.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  15. #15
    Registered User dangerdave's Avatar
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    The wisest of men know when to give up.
    AKA "DANGER" AT Thru-Hiker Class of 2015

  16. #16
    MuddyWaters's Avatar
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    Churchill was pretty much a drunk and an uninspiring leader.

    Others would tell new hikers that its OK to stop when you aren't having fun anymore. That is after all, the point.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  17. #17
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Churchill was pretty much a drunk and an uninspiring leader.

    Others would tell new hikers that its OK to stop when you aren't having fun anymore. That is after all, the point.
    Churchill never made that speech.

    The point of thru hiking for a great many goes beyond just having fun. But it's OK to stop if you are having fun, too.

  18. #18
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    He did say "If you're going through hell keep going" which implies don't stop in the middle. Many hikers say don't quit the trail on a rainy day, or on a day when you're down, etc. Ad hominem aside, what Churchill did accomplish is save the English army from slaughter or surrender by calling on the populace to save them by crossing the English Channel and bring them home. Granted the civilians were brave in doing this, but it took guts or mania to even suggest this as an option.

  19. #19
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    Wise men don't give up, but they know they have to change how they do something in order to succeed.
    Blackheart

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeBill View Post
    Wise men don't give up, but they know they have to change how they do something in order to succeed.
    I like this.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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