I like tradition as much as the next person, but I needed to be practical when it came to a trail name. For one reason, I didn't want a name pinned on me that I didn't like.
Secondly, I intended to build this website and create other social media around it, and doing that with a trail name would be more personal.
So I decided to skip tradition and pick my own.
In my professional work as a web developer I have sometimes done freelance work under the name Starting Gravity. That name comes from a term used in the making of beer. It's a measurement taken before fermentation begins. After fermentation is complete, a second measurement is taken. With the two gravity readings it is possible to calculate the alcohol content of the beer.
I am a home brewer, so that name seemed like an easy choice. Still, I had some reluctance at first to use it.
That reluctance changed a couple years ago on a frosty December morning in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As I was walking down the trail I failed to see a large sheet of ice. Slipping on it, I came down flat on my face.
After picking myself up and continuing a short distance I met another hiker, who was headed in my same direction. We chatted awhile about hiking and the Appalachian Trail. I mentioned to him that I was thinking of adopting "Gravity" as my trail name, but I wasn't sure if it was good fit.
I explained about the beer reference and also mentioned the spill I had just before we met. I told him that falling down on the trail was something I did with some regularity. I couldn't explain why, other than I just seemed to be gravity challenged.
Less than five minutes later we came to a stream crossing. As I attempted to rock hop across the stream I took a spectacular back-flip into the water. I was unhurt, but getting soaked in near-freezing temperatures was not the best thing I could have done in that moment.
Nonetheless, we both agreed there were clear indications here that Gravity was the correct name for me.