Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch

Friday, September 14, 2012


My mother recommends THE BEST books.  Evah.  This particular book, Wild – a memoir, was the perfect book for a perfect time in a perfect place.  As I wrote about recently, Scott, Bella, and I stepped off the world for a few days and headed to the White Mountains.  I had just started reading Wild but when we decided to take off I tucked it away to “save” for good 'ole reading-by-campfire.

Reading is one of my favorite things to do, yet it’s usually the first thing to fall by the wayside when I get busy.  Like running, reading allows me to escape, teaches me things, and calms me.  When I get hold of a book like Wild, Scott knows I’m not going to be much company for him.  The description of the book starts out like this:  “A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again.”  Who can resist that?

Now, I’m most definitely not reeling from catastrophe.  Nor am I looking to hike eleven-hundred miles in the woods by myself.  That statement alone is laughable since I wouldn’t make it eleven miles without getting lost!  But I digress…  The lure of this story is that it could be anyone’s story.  We’ve all dealt with problems; some serious, some not-so-much.  We’ve felt the weight of the world at some point in our lives.  We’ve lost loved ones.  We’ve experienced heart break.  What was so inspiring about this story is that she (Cheryl) sought to change who/what she had become.  She took control and decided she had a different life to live.

As Scott, Bella, and I hiked Little Haystack a few days ago, I couldn’t help but think about this woman I’ve never met but felt so akin to.  On our hike, I constantly had my bear-radar up, always ready to grab my bear spray (no kidding here folks!) and mess up Yogi Bear in a big way.  Solo hiker Cheryl ran into a bear, tracked mountain lion tracks, had several near misses with rattlesnakes, and a close encounter with an icky human.  And there I was on my measly 4000+ foot hike, where I had Scott and Bella (and the bear spray) to protect me, and where I could turn back at any time to return to the comfort of our camper…and ultimately our home.  Cheryl spent months on the Pacific Crest Trail, losing her old self and finding her true self.  Her biggest threat – her own demons.

I can’t recommend this book enough!  I finished days ago, but find myself still so intertwined in her story, her strength, and her will to live a life of her choosing.

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