I’ve had 3 weeks to reflect on the last WILD Women adventure and finally am writing to tell you all about it.
Where do I even begin… If I had to pick one word for this adventure, it would be healing.
I never know what to expect going into one of these powerful weekends, but the amount of energy, empowerment, and growth that the WILD Sierra Buttes weekend provided has left me speechless. That is why it’s taken me a several weeks to even get my feelings written down.
Like the other adventures, we had a weekend full of laughter, physical and mental challenges, new friends and old, incredible connection with mother nature, and escaping the craziness of life to take time for ourselves.
What this weekend provided that I felt was different than the others at this point, was the aspect of healing. I had the pleasure of women coming that I have known from all different walks of life. Some of them just needed to remember what it’s like to take time for themselves. To heal the monotony of constantly giving to others and not cashing back in for themselves. Others, just needed a reminder that mother nature gives us a feeling of relaxation and calming that few other places provide. A healing from constant sympathetic nervous system dominance (fight or flight), to feeling that parasympathetic relaxation (rest and digest). Yet others, healed fears. Fear of physical challenges, fear of heights, fear of the unknown.
All of the women on this trip made it what it was, but two women specifically, have forever imprinted on my heart. Their attendance and accomplishments at this WILD Women, began the healing process or continued healing process through some of the most scary, lonely, painful journeys I could imagine.
One woman, a dear friend of mine, bravely signed up for the Sierra Buttes weekend after a year of battling breast cancer with chemo and radiation. She completed treatment in February, and just a few months later found herself at the top of a mountain, climbing 3500 feet. This ascent didn’t come without struggle. Her legs were tired, her lungs were burning, her body was trying to tell her to stop, but her mind (along with the encouragement of the other WILD women and the belief we all had in her) kept her feet stomping one in front of the other. At the top she was tired, she was happy, and she let out a scream that needed to escape from the last year of fighting.
The other woman, has had another unfathomable journey. In the last several years, she has lost two of her sons and her ex-husband. One of her sons past just a few short months ago to Sudden Unexpected Death of Epilepsy (SUDEP). If you know anything about me, this hit home, as I to live with epilepsy and am active in that community. If this woman had not opened up to me, I would have had no idea the battle she was fighting inside. She has the most positive outlook on life I’ve ever seen. Her smile and her quiet demeanor, brought an electric energy to the group that is unexplainable. When she opened up on Saturday night around the campfire and told me more about her story, I couldn’t do anything but sit and listen… and cry. The strength, the courage, the perseverance that she possesses is beyond admirable. But she also expressed that every day is empty. She too, made it to the top of that mountain.
The perspective that these two women brought to camp is irreplaceable. They didn’t just climb to the peak of the mountain. There ability to conquer the mountain that day was symbolic for the mountains they have climbed and continue to climb through their suffering, their fear, their questioning and their living.
We all have something going on. It may seem small when compared to others, but that doesn’t mean it’s small to you or to your heart. Doing things that challenge you physically can show you the strength that you have mentally and emotionally. I have known this and have experienced this in one way or another my whole life. To see others getting to experience it through an event I created, is more than I could ever ask for in this life.
Thank you to all of the women who attended the Sierra Buttes adventure. The PCT was marked with your footsteps, laughter, support, and strength.