It’s said that the “why” of a long-distance hike is the most important and everyone has their own. Holding onto your why sometimes can be the only thing that gets you through a tough day. I certainly have mine, but we’ll dive into that later. Since I started planning my hike, one theme has been emerging consistently – making the hike bigger than me. What does that mean? Hiking for something. I want to use my hike on the Pacific Crest Trail to raise money and awareness for two organizations that mean so much to me – Hiking My Feelings and The Trevor Project.
To understand why I chose these organizations, I think it’s important to understand what they do and the impact they make. So, let’s dive in!
Healing happens one trail at a time.
Hiking My Feelings began on a mountaintop east of San Diego, CA in 2018 – a mantra, battle cry, and most importantly a replacement to the eating and drinking that had once been go-to methods for handling the reverberating emotions of lived trauma. Since that day, Hiking My Feelings has been on a mission to improve community health by creating opportunities for people to experience the healing power of nature.
Americans spend 95% of their day indoors, and returning to the wilderness allows us to reconnect with ourselves and the planet. When we give ourselves the opportunity to reflect and find inspiration in what we’ve experienced on our Trail of Life, we can get intentional about how we spend the rest of our time on this planet in these bodies – integrating the lessons learned into our personal lives and communities.
Feeling Seen in a World Without Windows
I was listening to a podcast in late 2018 that was an interview with Sydney Williams, the founder of Hiking My Feelings. She was talking about her story and how Hiking My Feelings came to be. She discussed her struggles with eating disorders, sexual assault, loss of loved ones, and so much more and how she has overcome so much. In hearing her talk about her story, it was the first time I had heard a story similar to mine reflected back to me. For the first time in my life, I felt seen. I remember sitting in my car listening to the podcast, sobbing.
Immediately, I found Hiking My Feelings on Instagram and composed a message simply to say thank you. I never expected to get a response, but I did. Fast forward a bit, Sydney released a book (Hiking My Feelings: Stepping into the Healing Power of Nature) …….