Wildway Crew Stories: Mamie Clare (Exploration)
Our Wildway Crew highlights ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Within each of us lies the potential to live life to the fullest. We have the ability to choose our own destiny, live without fear or limits, challenge ourselves and grow, do and be whatever makes us happy. We have the ability to be free. It's how you live a Wildway of life and there are people all around us inspiring others with their actions. We want to celebrate that by highlighting and honoring those who #LiveWild. (More on that here)
Meet this week's featured Wildway Crew member:
Wildway of Life = Exploring wild places + pursuing a life of adventure, new experiences, happiness, and self-discovery in the great outdoors
Outlook = “May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” – Edward Abbey
Wildway of Choice = Too hard to choose
Meet Mamie. She's already thru-hiked the 2,200 mile stretch that is the Appalachian Trail (solo, at that), and is now in the midst of her journey along the Pacific Crest Trail. Through these hiking adventures, Mamie has learned to reflect and accept the strong, capable woman she is today.
Here is Mamie's story in her own words:
"For many years, I was incapable of loving myself. I could never be good enough, pretty enough, or brave enough. I constantly criticized myself for my insecure, quiet, and reserved personality. I punished myself for my perceived failures through food and exercise. I had given up on believing I would ever be capable of leading the life I wanted and wondered if I would ever be free from my own self-destructive thoughts.
My Wildway of Life is exploring wild places and adventuring outdoors. My outdoor experiences have helped uncover the self-confidence I kept buried for so long, begin to appreciate and accept myself for who I am, and believe change is possible. Whether I am running down a trail, doing yoga, hiking long-distances, or climbing, I am happiest when I’m outside, surrounded by fresh mountain air, tall peaks, and the stillness of nature. In the outdoors, I feel strong, alive, peaceful, and capable of conquering anything that comes my way.
Last year I completed a solo northbound thru-hike of the 2,189 mile Appalachian Trail. It was a journey defined by sweat, blood, tears, pure joy, sadness, exhaustion, independence, freedom, laughter, courage, smiles, overcoming fears, loneliness, adversity, amazing people, and treasured memories. The trail was the most challenging thing I have ever accomplished, but those 2,200 miles were truly life changing and I don’t plan on stopping there.
This summer, I will continue to pursue my dream of exploring and moving in beautiful wild places by hiking the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail. For me, long-distance hiking is so much more than a way to explore, exercise, and connect with nature; it allows me to look inward, get to know myself, learn from my mistakes, and shape myself into the person I want to be. By focusing on taking one step at a time, literally just putting one foot in front of the other, it helps me remain present, truly living fully and finding meaning in each moment that is given to me.It allows me to look inward, get to know myself, learn from my mistakes, and shape myself into the person I want to be.
This last year has been a transformative one. I have begun to appreciate the body that allows me to run up mountains, hike long distances, move to new places, and meet new people. Through the outdoors, my body and mind have become strong vehicles of change and I am happy to say I am nearly free of the self-destructive thought patterns that consumed me for so long. While I still struggle, each day I am filled with gratitude for the mountains I have climbed, the rivers I have forded, and the beautiful places I’ve seen, because they have helped me realize my own strength, learn to appreciate and accept myself, and rediscover what is important.
This fall after the PCT, I will be attending nursing school, pursuing an interest in wilderness medicine. Eventually, I hope to combine my love for the outdoors while promoting health and wellness to others suffering from mental illness. I hope to inspire others and help them discover and pursue their own passions so they can realize change is possible."
Live Wild. Explore Wild.
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