This is Mary Ellen. Mary Ellen is a new member in our Northeast Women Who Hike Facebook group. And this picture and story caught my eye within the group not just because of her own joy and accomplishment in this photo, but the support and congratulatory comments that she got from the other women within the group. That's what we are about at @WomenWhoHike... encouragement and celebration of others. This is the story of her very first summit:
"This past week I reached the summit of my first mountain, Mt. Monadnock! It was one of those moments in life that will stay with me forever… you know the kind where you can remember all the sights, sounds and smells like it is written in permanent marker from your heart to your brain.
Last year I made my first attempt at Monadnock. I was 25 pounds heavier and was woefully unprepared for the White Dot Trail in my jeans and crappy sneakers. When it began to rain I was thrilled and retreated down the mountain. I was physically unable to climb Monadnoc, or so I thought... One year later, I realize that the physicality of the hike was not the stumbling block. I returned with my husband to face Monadnock again. This time, I had done a bit of research and had proper gear, but that would not get me to the summit either. I came with a different mindset, one of positivity and self-worth. I knew I could do it. There was no doubt in my mind. You see, one month earlier I had the opportunity to attend Outessa and was surrounded by women who were regular and ordinary and had “stuff” and were COMPLETELY FREAKIN AMAZING! And I was one of them! I am FREAKIN AMAZING!
So, back to the mountain... Even with research, I was in constant awe at what I encountered and how I was able to look and think and move. As I went along, I reminded myself to stop and enjoy the views but I have to admit that I was squarely focused on the summit. As the summit came into view, I had butterflies! I moved forward and when I reached the summit I was awash in joy! I took a moment to breathe in the majesty of the views and then reminded myself that I did this, that I am strong, that I am capable and that I was atop a mountain!"