Those who know me well or follow me through social media know that I am an avid outdoors woman. Whether the destination be close or far, the journey be long or short, I take adventure wherever and whenever I can get it.
Towards the end of last year, a hashtag popped up throughout social media called #52hikechallenge. But this hashtag was far more than just uniting one another through a common interest or getting yourself found on instagram, this hashtag was about joining in and engaging in a movement, for yourself and with others both like and much unalike you.
The 52 Hike Challenge was started by a couple, Karla and Philip. Both who happen to live near me in Southern California. So, about midway through last year I jumped on board as an ambassador and curator promoting both my experience and their movement through instagram.
I still remember my first day of social media takeover. I was so inspired, so elated and so proud to be a part of this movement that was changing people in both small and big ways. People have used the challenge to bring them peace and clarity while some use it to get fit and others have found at the end they have healed a hurt or overcome a hurdle in life.
Throughout my 52 Hikes I came to different points in my journey when I said, ‘OK, this is going to be my testimony’. But at different points, my testimony changed. I thought I would write about how the challenge saved my relationship with my fiance, or how I finally adjusted to California living, or how I became less of a control freak and more laid back in my everyday life… But when I was done with hike 52 at the Palos Verdes Bluffs, all I could think about was how I finally just did something for myself that didn’t rely upon anyone else’s schedule, allowance, blessing, approval or happiness. I am a self professed people pleaser. I love being there for others, love stepping in to help anyone whether it be my family, friends or work. And this was something all my own. And it was simple… and quite freeing.
When I finished my challenge I felt incredibly accomplished. I felt like for the first time in my life I started using my time to do something that was just for me. It’s easy, especially as a woman to get caught in the people pleasing trap. I enjoy pleasing other people but it’s so important to also do the things that please yourself.
I must say that the biggest accomplishment comes after you finish. Since finishing my challenge I have done and decided to do so many things I would’ve said no to in the past.
This challenge CAN do so many things for you besides getting ‘fit’. It can heal you. It can empower you… It can make you push yourself and reach higher than you ever thought possible.