My younger sister is a third of the way done with her thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.
And I miss her face off.
It’s weird… she lives in Rochester so you would think I would see her all the time. But she’s a bada$$ ICU/trauma nurse who works night shifts and weekends and I’m a single Mom with school-age kiddos. So I don’t hang out with her as much as I would like.
But there was something about her leaving for this six month (0r so) adventure of hiking most of the East Coast that feels so much more difficult than her living an hour and a half away. I know I can still text her and I know she’s called me pretty regularly for really great chats. And I know I will see her at least once mid-adventure.
I also know she’s having the time of her life… I know she’s learning a ton about herself through this experience… but the fact that she isn’t here is so strange and so hard. And then the empathetic heart of mine is dying inside knowing that she’s out there on the trail eating the same boring food all the time and just walking, walking, walking for 20 miles a day.
My sister is amazing.
If it wasn’t for her outdoor-loving-spirit, I would have never climbed my first mountain when I did. And my girls probably wouldn’t have climbed their first mountain! She taught me everything I know (which still isn’t much because I habitually depend on her to hold my hand for all our outdoor adventures) about hiking and camping.
Remember… I’m the sibling who didn’t know how to say Yosemite 😉
She’s taken me to National Parks. And she’s inspired me to love the outdoors even more than I already did.
She’s taught my girls to rock climb.
She’s taught me who John Muir is. (Check out my other sister’s Yosemite video for some sick Muir quotes)
She’s given me a taste for the mountains that’s turned into a love and a longing for more.
Sometimes I can’t believe the amazing things she’s accomplished. I can’t believe that she’s a 46er already and that she’s going to hike the Appalachin Trail this year.
My heart aches with her absence, but it’s also warmed by how proud I am of her.
She makes me laugh. She makes me think deeply. She’s introduced me to most of my favorite music. And podcasts. And authors. She makes time for the most amazing projects. She taught me how to build a dining room table. What woman just sits down one day and says “I need a dining room table. I bet I can just make it myself.” And then goes and passes that handy, empowering life lesson to me!
She’s the only person I know who built a rock climbing wall in her garage.
I don’t think there’s anything she hasn’t thought about trying that she hasn’t just tried and crushed.
Like sure, her vegetable garden goes a little rogue at the end of the summer. But that’s to be expected when every available “free” minute she has is filled with something amazing. I don’t really know how she keeps up with herself, because when I go on vacation with her I tend to call it an “adventure-cation” and beg off of outings by the end of the week because I’m just. so. tired.
My life wouldn’t be the same without this amazing woman in it. And my girls have something pretty special in her as their Aunt B.
Since it really does take a village to raise these kids, I am so glad that she’s on my home team to show them one example of what a strong, capable woman can do in this amazing world.
And I just wanted to gush about her a bit today.