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Friday, February 14, 2014

The Journey Through Fear

I just finished the book, Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I know I'm way behind in reading this memoir by woman who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail several years ago, but I'd heard that the book was ordinary and whining.  So I thought it could wait. But I have to say Wild was well-written, poetic in places and inspirational. I love stories about ordinary people who do amazing things and that is just what this book was about.

Cheryl Strayed hiked 1,100 miles from the Mojave Desert to the southern border of Washington State woefully unprepared for the ardor and hardships she would face as a woman alone in the wilderness.  The book is about that hike, but - more than that - very much about grief and loss. Strayed hikes the trail alone to face all of her weaknesses and she emerges a much stronger woman, healed in so many ways. 

At one point, she says, “I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.” 

Recently selected as a Giver for World Book Night in April, Wild is the book that I will be giving away for free to 20 women - light or nonreaders - here in Houston. I know that the book will inspire them as much as it did me.