In my case, "Stats" was given to me by a former colleague and old friend from Down Under, Mark Tannoc. During my first year as a high school teacher in Mississippi, Mark used to call me "Stats Modem" because it rhymed with Odom and because I was the softball team's statistician and school's IT coordinator. Mark often called me simply "Stats".
I never had a nickname that I liked (let alone could repeat in in respectable company) until "Stats". Nicknames never stuck with me, so I resurrected it for my thru-hike because I liked the sound of it and it seemed to fit with the book I plan on writing after my adventure. The book, entitled "Stats on the A.T.", will provide many statistics, data, and figures regarding my adventure as well as daily narratives. I don't believe a book like this has been written, so this endeavor is doubly exciting for me.
Traditionally, the trail name was given to the hiker by his/her fellow hikers near the start of the thru-hike and would be worn as a badge of honor. More and more often, however, hikers today hit the Trail with their moniker already determined. I'm a little sad that I've chosen my own name, but I think I'll rest easier knowing my fellow hikers won't be calling me "Missing Link", "Pest" or "Sir Farts-a-lot"!
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