The accountant from Arlington, Virginia, traveled 2,190 miles from Georgia to Maine over five and a half months

While many adventurers dream about taking time off work to hike the Appalachian Trail, 27-year-old Jonathan Wooddy actually did it — and transformed his body in the process.

The accountant from Arlington, Virginia, traveled the entire trail — 2,190 miles from Georgia to Maine — over five-and-a-half months. The grueling journey, which consisted of walking 12 hours each day up and down mountains, led Wooddy to drop 45 lbs., despite living off “trail food” like Pop-Tarts and peanut butter.

“Since my exercise was only walking and climbing mountains all day with no other strength training, my upper body became weaker, but my legs became much more conditioned to long-distance exercise,” he told Washingtonian. “My overall health improved by living in nature for five-and-a-half months and exercising from sun-up to sun-down every day.”

In addition to being a physical journey, it was also a mental challenge.

Credit: Jonathan Wooddy

“The thought that if I didn’t finish the trail, everyone I know would think I am a quitter and couldn’t finish this incredibly hard goal that I had set my mind to” kept him going, he said.

“I felt good before, but not as confident as I do now. That in part is due to my body transformation, but also in part due to the great sense of pride I have in my accomplishment to finish the entire Appalachian Tail and the obstacles that I had to endure out there.”

Credit: Jonathan Wooddy

Wooddy encouraged anyone thinking about tackling a similar journey to pack up their bags and go for it.

“The world has two kinds of people: People who watch others achieve dreams and goals and talk about how they want to do it and never do. And people who stop making excuses and take the steps right now to accomplish their dreams,” he said. “There is no time like the present. Stop waiting and making excuses and just start doing it now.”