About this Talk
As a survivor of Domestic Violence, I will speak on how I escaped this multi-generational cycle, how women often stay in unhealthy relationships because they feel they don't have a way out, and how women can be empowered to find their inner strength through hard moments and use that on the trails/journeys ahead. In my memoir, "Mile 0" I share my story. I also share the impact it had on my image and self-esteem. After escaping my abuser with my two young children, I found the beginnings of my inner strength. From 2007-2018, I led multiple "Cross Cascade" hike groups (average is 40 miles in about 3-4 days). I have had people on this backpack trip who have found their inner strength and taken that into their daily lives off the trail. In 2020 I had a brain bleed and had to have brain surgery (3 weeks after I remarried!). I had to relearn to walk and do so many things again. In 2022, I did the Cross Cascade hike solo so that I could prove to myself that I could still do it, and lead it again. I learned on that 49 miles and 3-day adventure, that I can indeed do hard things, BUT - I do not need to do them alone. I have solo hiked and back-packed for 20 years and feel confident as a solo woman hiker, however, we also can hike and support each other as women hikers together. Do what feeds you!! In the summer of 2023, I was diagnosed with cancer (basal cell carcinoma) on my lower eyelid. Here was a lesson about sunscreen on the trail AND wearing sunglasses and hats!! -another takeaway from the hiking life for me to share with others :) Throughout all my life journeys, I have held onto hope, and I'd like to share that positive message of survival, hope, and community.