Why I hike
This first post feels like it has taken me years to write. Though I’m admittedly terrified in this moment, I have always known that I would immortalize my story by writing it down when I was ready, and I trusted that I would know instinctively when that time finally came. Welcome to that moment. And so now, I will gently begin to pry the ribbed cage from around my heart and share glimpses of both the harrowing depths and the triumphant summits of the woman behind this pen. This is my journey of where I’ve been, where I’m going, and what brought me here- not only to this endeavor to hike the 2,200 miles of this trail, but to the readiness to give life back to my words. My first step on that trail will be my Genesis. The woman created along the way will be my legacy. This is a prologue.
My profession sets me in the midst of some of the bravest women I know. They have been abused, exploited, used, cast aside and forgotten. They are the ones you pretend not to notice when they stand next to you in the grocery store line with their poorly hidden bruises on their faces, forearm scars, and their haunted eyes. It is not uncommon that during a shift, I will dance in celebration with one woman who finally won custody of her children, and in the next I am on the floor holding one to another while she breathes her way through the battlefield of trauma. It is my honor to love on these ladies.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner. Over a years’ time, this ends up being more than 10 million victims. One in five women in the United States have been subjected to the horrors of rape with almost half (47%) of them being at the hands of someone they knew. Of course, so many cases are not reported given the most dangerous time for the woman is the moment she decides to run toward safety. To be honest, our justice system more often fail the victims of this particular crime.
Like the women I serve, I’ve been among these statistics. I have been familiar with the horrors of domestic and sexual abuse. I have known defeat and these scars run deep. Herein lies all that this journey means to me. I hike for these beautiful women- the ones that bravely share parts of their story with me and allow me the privilege to sit with them in the trenches and share in the joys of their triumphs. But it is time that I share my own story and open these wounds up so that others may find strength them. May my authentic brokenness build more bridges than my fearful silence has so far. Sometimes scars have a lot less to do with where you’ve been and a lot more to do with where you’re going, so thank you for being a part of this journey.
*check out my bio for how you can be involved*
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.