Not that the notion of a thru-hike isn't appealing--some 1000 or so souls complete one every year. I love reading accounts of thru hikers and imagining how cool such a long trek would be.
The obvious downside? Freeing yourself up for the 5 months or so that a hike would take; being financially secure enough to afford it; planning and executing all the logistics. Oh, and having the mental and physical fortitude to walk 2,172 miles in one long stretch.
Nope, all that stuff is doable for the determined. What would be my undoing is the fact that all thru hikers are expected to assume an alias, a trail name by which they are known to the ATC and to each other on the trail.
I could not bring myself to do that.
See, I hate nicknames. Always have. I realize that there may be very good reasons for a person to assume or have conferred upon them a nickname, but that's not me. I have, admittedly, an almost pathological aversion to even using a nickname for somebody else, much less having one of my own. To me it's like, "Do I know you well enough to call you Crunchy instead of your real name, Craig?"
So I'd have to go under my real name of Gary, to the consternation of all other thru hikers. You just don't toy with time-honored traditions, so if I won't play the game, I'd just better not hike.
See how easily I talked myself out of it?