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After surviving two of the hardest years of her life, Sydney Williams was standing in an REI dressing room trying on hiking gear for her first backpacking trip. Looking back in the mirror was a woman (and body) she didn’t recognize. She looked herself in the eye and simply asked, “GIRL, how did we get here?” It was a rhetorical question for the dressing room, but two thru-hikes across Catalina Island helped Williams establish the mind-body connection that was necessary for her to be able to face her trauma head-on and leave everything on the trail.
The first hike on the Trans-Catalina Trail was the hardest physical challenge Williams had ever tackled; it taught her how to love her body, and reminded her that she could do hard things. Nine months before her second journey, she was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. By the time she hiked the island the second time, Williams was 60 pounds lighter. What would be possible if the hike itself wasn’t the hard part? The second hike was a complete emotional excavation, examining and releasing the weight of expectations she had placed on herself while reclaiming her shine. Get inspired & learn more about how to heal your mind+body on the trail.