Defining “home” is no simple task, with its seemingly transient fabric in the modern age that leaves many of us with a deep-rooted yearning for belonging. I was raised in Dubai to Syrian-Lebanese ex-pats who later immigrated to the US in support of a more secure and thriving future for my sister and I.
Trail Sisters Journal
I live in Ohio, and while we have a good network of trails here, they are relatively flat and smooth. I can train on a few hills that we have in the area. Those hills might be steep, but not nearly long or technical enough. Besides that, winter in Ohio is cold and often icy.
Distance running has been my source of self-confidence and strength since age 12. It’s something for which I’ve been recognized; it’s made me feel good within my body, and through quirks of fate running has afforded me many wonderful life experiences that I’ll always cherish. It’s also helped me be a much more pleasant person than perhaps otherwise (most of the time).
Winter is raging on as I add the finishing touches to this review. I’m not just saying that to set the mood for a conversation about snow-worthy gear either. From my desk I can see swirling snow and my phone keeps reminding me we’re in the midst of a winter storm warning.
Checking my map and my compass, I quickly assess my route options. I can either gain quite a bit of elevation to get to a clean trail that will take me to the cluster of thick bushes I have to find, or I can go down just a bit, through a forest, cross a stream and climb just slightly up through a clearing to the bushes.
I’m on the Hi-line trail, an oasis high up in the middle of the mountain, surrounded by red rock. I had just hiked through a wonderland, someplace you would find only in your imagination, a magical place.
I was a hiker long before I was a runner. I discovered hiking in college when I became friends with a fellow student who I randomly sat next to in a freshman botany class. She had a car and grew up camping. I was a shy Greek and philosophy major testing the waters of a new subject matter.
The reason so many thru-hikers think they can run a marathon right after hiking 2,000 miles is because of a very straightforward logic: running and walking use the same muscles and cardiovascular system. As a thru-hiker, ultrarunner, and personal trainer I have some insight into this transition from hiking to running (and vice versa) and how to do so without injury.
In an effort to create a more complete and sound outdoor community Trail Sisters will be including hiking and backpacking in our future coverage!
We want women to feel included and encouraged to play on the trails, no matter their pace or mode of foot-to-dirt powered activity.