Finisher Highlights - October 2020

Julia Hipp, AKA Pigtails
“Julia "Pigtails" Hipp finished her first 52 Hike Challenge at the age of 4 on August 17, 2020 logging 186.68 miles. She hiked with her mom and fell in love with the Appalachian Trail during the summer, section hiking all 45 miles of the Appalachian Trail in Maryland and West Virginia. Her longest hike to date was on the Appalachian Trail, covering 10.84 miles. Just because she finished the 52 Hike Challenge doesn't mean she's stopped hiking. She'll reach 250 miles on her next hike and isn't stopping any time soon.”
Dan Boehm
“The 52 Hike Challenge has provided a healthy outlet for fitness and stress relief. Completing the challenge has been very difficult, sweaty, and extremely fun. It has provided a great means to develop reflection and resiliency. It has also been a nice motivational help to get me back on the trail and enjoining nature. It has changed me for the better by providing improved mental and physical health. Finishing hike 52 is effectively a start to a new healthier beginning.”
Tamera Tillman
“[The 52 Hike Challenge] made me more appreciative of what is in my own backyard. It helped me to explore other trails that might not be as well known; especially during covid. Nature is the only place where we are not judged by where we come from or who we are. It became a sense of overwhelming peace that I didn't realize was there for the two of us until this hiking challenge. Now we crave it all the time. We tried so many new things, including night hikes and river walks.”
Alma Carr
“Well, I've always enjoyed running, but decided to hike more rather than run. So I signed up for this 52 Hike Challenge in February. I'm 64 , healthy I thought, and unfortunately, not only did Covid strike but I was diagnosed with ALS in May. I don't know how fast it will weaken the rest of my muscles to paralysis and honestly, I prayed I could finish this challenge. Angel's Landing in Zion National Park seemed like the perfect place to give God the glory. It's changed my life for the better because ALS be damned, I did it and both my husband and I were so excited! I will continue to hike until I can't. Thanks for this challenge.”
Nikole Arnold
“I started the challenge late in 2019, but fell behind in my hikes. Then 2020 hit, and a lot of plans were canceled and it was easy to be discouraged. Hiking gave me a safe way to get out of the house and helped me stay active. It was great for my mental and physical health. I built a lot of confidence. My idea of an ‘easy’ hike developed and I had to keep pushing myself to try more difficult trails to keep myself challenged. I'm so glad I found the 52 Hike Challenge!”
Jessica Seidel
“Hiking has always been a form of therapy, and at first much cheaper. I’ve primarily been a lone ranger until this past march when covid hit and I found myself more alone than ever. Enter one of the greatest gifts on earth; Gregory, my adopted pit bull buddy. I rescued him in April, and I have since completed my 52, and now we are working on his. With just over half way to go, I am not sure who rescued whom.”
Amy Thornton
“2020 was hard. I am usually a really active outdoorsy person…but this year I have become an indoor person. I became sluggish, and poorly motivated and struggled to get outside for things that I enjoyed even. It was really helpful for me to have this goal. It motivated me to get outside even when it felt like a struggle. Being outside is very healing to me and it really helped me heal and feel better in 2020 since there is still this beauty in the world. I finished my 52nd on a beautiful fall day with rainbows of foliage and felt better and happy... Thank you 52 Hike Challenge, I needed this this year.”
Liliana Myers
“The person I was dating and I broke up, and this started as a way to get over him. Then I saw so many amazing hikes that were really hard and I was like ‘I think if I work to it I could do that.’ My big goal was taking a solo trip to the San Juan mountains to do some beautiful alpine lake hikes, but I needed to be in shape to do it. I did Ice Lakes, Blue Lakes and Columbine Lake in three days and was so proud that I was able to do it.”
Sophia Florestal
“[I completed the 52 Hike Challenge] to get my introverted self out of the house and get some fresh air while I workout and fill my love of photography at the same time.”
Elizabeth Carson
“I started this right before the pandemic hit. Once everything locked down, I closed in on myself and didn't move off the couch for a good 2 months. I regained the 15 pounds I had lost since the beginning of the year. I finally realized that I had the ability to improve my outlook on life and getting out in nature and physically active was what I needed. I re-lost that 15 lbs. and am amazed by what I can do. I competed an 18.3 mile hike 2 weeks ago as one of my hikes and have a goal to hike a full marathon next year.”

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