Hiking Shoes and Water Required

This is the perfect time of the year for getting up early and going for a hike. The other day, I grabbed my water pack and my puppy—a five-year-old black lab/beagle mix named Princess and headed to the park.

Princess on our hike

                We arrived at the trailhead and began our trek through the woods following the trails that are already shaped out for hikers; at some point our curiosities led us off the trail and into the woods with little to guide us. We traversed some water obstacles—well I traversed, Princess just sat in the water. We climbed steep hills, over dead trees, and I slid down a muddy hill on my butt. It was an exciting six-mile hike through the woods.

Chrystal in Iraq 2004

Chrystal in Iraq 2004

                Trekking through the woods reminds me of my life’s journeys. There are ups and downs; sometimes the path looks impossible with tall hills, rocks, water, and obstacles—all to be overcome. Risks need to be taken when faced with obstacles and when deciding to stay on a path laid out for you or to leave it and travel the unknown.     

                Most people who know me would tell you that I’ve done a lot for a thirty something. Life is a journey—and I love it. I served in the U. S. Army for over five years—even going to Iraq; I worked as a government contractor—boring; I packed everything I own and moved 500 miles south to go to a small private Christian college—because I wanted to live in a small town; I spent a summer in China teaching English to teachers—awesome!; I went through a period of depression in college—I had teachers and counselors that cared and helped me through it; I went to South Africa, India, Bangladesh, and Mozambique for a semester to complete my undergrad internship; I graduated from college—it took me 12 years to complete and I was the first in my family to do it!

                I thought I was on the wrong trail when I found myself back in Maryland. I wanted to find a different trail, but I wasn’t even sure which direction it was in. I found a path that led me to Loyola University. Everything about my journey has led me here—all my defeats and victories, trials and triumphs!

                My journey is still just beginning—I anticipate that I’ll find some other trails along the way, some I’ll stick to for a while and some I won’t. Along my journey I hope to help others discover their life story and overcome the obstacles to find the path that is meant for them.

5 thoughts on “Hiking Shoes and Water Required

  1. WOW! I love what you have written about -journey!! And YOURS is quite fantastic. You are such a blessing and you will LOVE helping folks get through those tough places along their own journey .You were made for this!! Isn’t it fun to live from the passion in your heart. It is abundant life! Bless you Chrystal!!

  2. Your statement that “risks need to be taken . . . when deciding to stay on a path laid out for you or to leave it and travel the unknown” hit an chord of affirmation for me. Glad you mentioned it.

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