January 15th. A day that I took five other women in our #girlswhohike group to the mountains. For over a year I have wanted to begin to build a community that uplifts each other. A community that hikes beside each other and will be there to listen to one another. To laugh, to encourage, to empower; I wanted all of these things for the women who would come to hike alongside me. I share the reasons why I love to hike and what it gives to me in return. Now, it is my mission to give all that I have gained from it, away. Because I believe your joy, heart and passion can only be multiplied when you decide to give it back to others. I know first hand what hiking mountains can do for one’s soul. I know this because my brother, without knowing it, instilled this within me. I hike because of him and I am at this place in my life partially because of him. Unfortunately, I learned these things after he was gone, but it has made me see our world with a different set of eyes. And in that world I cherish the ordinary, the small moments and the smiles of others. I have set out to bring others joy and on my brother’s birthday I took five other women on a hike in the mountains, to some of their’s very first mountain peak. What happened at the top of this mountain when I shared that it was his birthday with them is something I will always remember. A community was formed.
I think we all have our own reasons for lacing up our boots and setting out to accomplish something, but that’s what made this day so beautiful. It was everyone’s individual reasons for coming on this hike and that we all did it together. Whether a woman decided this year that this was her year to be outside more and to make that effort, or you made a promise to yourself to be more active. If you want to get yourself out of your comfort zone but don’t want to venture into the woods alone. (Which I don’t recommend doing that alone 😉 ). If you lost someone dear to you and you are trying to figure out what your life will look like now or if hiking and being out in nature with no cell phone service or WiFi just feels good to you, than hiking with us is for YOU! No matter the reasons, big or small, hiking with is us is for YOU!
Erica, a woman who lost her Mother a few months ago and was wearing her Mother’s hiking boots on this trip, said it best. “On this hike we all have different reasons for being here, to be hiking with one another, but it is great we have all come together for these reasons.”
Then another woman said, “Thank you for sharing his birthday with us, Happy Birthday to Richard.” Women who were strangers to my brother, were at the top of a mountain with me and said happy birthday to him in their own way. I never sought out for hiking to mean so much to others when I started this, the way it does for me. I was happy to take women on hikes just because they wanted to try it or that they liked it! When they all shared their reasons for hiking at the top of the mountain that day, I was overwhelmed! (In the best way!) In that moment I realized that my life was exactly where it was suppose to be. That this life was meant for giving to others and that I was on the right trail of doing what I was destined to do. I think Richard would have been proud to spend his birthday the way we did.
I will end my writing and let the photographs doing the talking with one last quote from one of our hikers. I lost count how many times Holly said this during and after our hike, “THE BEST DAY!”
At the peak of Sharp Top Mountain! Our entire group of women! Erica’s Mother’s boots that she wore on our hike in honor of her Mother. Then we headed to Buzzard’s Roost, where I got a few women out of their comfort zone by climbing onto these rocks! 😉
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