2017 Hike for Heroes

american flag on mt baldy summitBy Heather

As much as I enjoy hiking solo, I always feel a twinge of sadness when I see photos of groups of hikers on their trips, having a great time and making memories together.

So, when SoCal Hiker announced the SoCal Hiker Team for the 2017 Hike for Heroes to Mt. Baldy, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and do this thing. Plus, it’s for a great cause,  supporting The Heroes Project, an organization that helps wounded vets redefine their limits after an injury.

My cousin Jessie, an Army nurse, decided to come along, too, so my introverted self didn’t have to face swarms of strangers unassisted. Phew! I’m a baby, yes.

The cause moved me in particular because hiking has taught me an unbelievable amount about myself. I had no idea that a shred of anything I do now existed in me before.

Thinking of those vets having that same realization, especially after once thinking their life might be over… it makes me tear up. It’s a great feeling to realize what you can do despite whatever obstacles you think might be in your way. It is quite literally life changing.

It got even better a few days after the hike – in a thank you email from the Heroes Project, I learned that as a direct result of the Hike for Heroes, USMC Sgt. Kirstie Ennis will climb Mt. Carstensz Pyramid and USMC Cpl. Carlos Torres will climb Mt. Ojos del Salado. Aw, yeah, I am so excited for them! Follow The Heroes Project on Instagram to keep track of Kirstie and Carlos!

I can’t wait to do this again next year, and I’m pumped to try and raise even more money next time!