Finisher Friday: November 2016

Hi guys!

We’ve decided to make Friday’s all about the amazing finishers of the #52HikeChallenge.

Let’s start off by highlighting these awesome challengers and hear what they had to say.

First up is Juan Oropeza aka @mt.oropeza

“For me hiking is a way to get away from the busy day to day life. Work, life, family issues always add up and so once I step out into mother nature I am free. Ever since it made me feel better, I started hiking religiously. It’s a part of my life now, it’s who I am.”

Followed by Angy Beran aka @angyb424 from Arizona. “Really, it just help keep me active and not a vegetable sitting at home watching tv.” - We gotta admit, this is a really great reason!

We also have Jacquelyn Cohen aka @jackinamerica

“All my life I was on the fast track. Clubs, sports, academics, etc. After I graduated from UMD in 3 years I decided I was going to use my "senior year" to travel to all 50 states. I got to realize that life is something to enjoy. I became immensely aware of myself (since I traveled alone), what I was capable of, and my overall perspective on life. I met a least a handful of people a day who talked to me about their aspirations, where they were from, and what to go see! The more perspective I got the more I grew as a person. I started out just wanting to see the beauty of my backyard, and ended with probably my most important life lesson I will learn."

Lastly, we have a story from Mariel Ganowsky.

"Just before my 67th birthday I was introduced to hiking. Prior to that, my idea of outdoors was the Laguna Beach Art Walk or a drive to Solvang and even an occasional night at the beach… but venturing off “the beaten path” was expressed as the walk to the Trolley for a ride to the Sawdust Festival… not really by any means a hike… therefore, at 67 years young, I started a wonderful adventure of seeing a world I lived next door to, but had never seen before!! It took little time to realize the most wondrous and beautiful things in life are not man made.

It was very challenging when I first started a couple years ago; a three-mile hike then felt worse than 20 miles do today! It was a slow start and elevation was always the hardest. Since that time, I’ve seen the most amazing sites on top of Mt. Baldy, Mt. San Jacinto, and Mt. Wilson to name a few… so why the 52-Hike Challenge? Perhaps I’m just too young at 69 to listen to people say 70 is too old, which I will be in June 2016.

Maybe for some, they are old because they just quit living. With every hike, I feel more like I’ve just started living, and to take on a challenge of 52 and do it in 11 weeks is just another way of saying, I’ve only just started. Last year we took some friends from New Orleans on a tour of some National Parks, i.e. Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon North - South, Sedona and my only thought was: “I want to get down there and do some serious hiking, such as the RIM TO RIM, which would be an awesome adventure, especially with my husband and like-minded friends. This is one of many on my Bucket List of hikes to do.

It’s true that I am not a fast hiker but I certainly question if people ever get old, the roads on the other hand do… so it is when you let your mind get old, everything dies and when you think young, you act young, you stay young… so… may I never grow up!!!

I have encouraged many friends to hike with me and also have created lots of good friends who I meet every day, I have also encouraged my husband to hike along sometimes when he is not working, which has strengthened our relationship and the biggest one of all is the confidence I have gained in myself every time I post a hike with the mileage, the place, who I went with and everyone seems to be living vicariously through my doing these hikes almost every day. I have become a strong leader and I do not to feel threatened by heights, length of a hike, people who hike fast or anything out there, including rattlesnakes!!!

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