Week 8: Kathy Lyon

Today my college roommate, Kathy Lyon, drove up from Hanover, Maryland to be my hiking buddy for the 8th week of “A Year of Hikes: 52 Weeks, 52 Women, Same Trail.” It was so much fun! So, what if one of our cars got stuck in the snow at the trailhead??? It actually reminded me of some of our more memorable escapades during college when one of us would worry and the other would laugh! Luckily, working together, two women in our prime, with no help from all of the drivers that DIDN’T stop, we resourcefully solved the problem in about 20 minutes.

We had a great time on a beautiful, almost blindingly bright day, as the sun reflected off the pristine snow. I can’t remember ever having more fun with Kathy! Mmm, that’s not quite true. I guess some of our hilarious evenings at the bar at Loyola College and attending each other’s weddings would qualify as more fun. And how can I forget the year we, and our husbands, traveled to New Orleans to attend Jazz Fest…now that was an amazingly fun adventure!

You get the point…today’s hike was especially fun and particularly meaningful because we got to revisit memories that span more than 45 years of friendship! And at the same time, I was introducing Kathy to something completely new! As a novice hiker, she trekked the A.T. for the first time…and did it in brand new hiking boots and Yaktrax that she bought just for our hike!

She probably wouldn’t describe herself as adventurous but, honestly, how many women do you know would sign up to do their first hike in deep snow on the A.T. in February. Just sayin! To me she’s an inspiration…she’s challenging herself, stepping out of her comfort zone and exploring new possibilities. She’s an example of a woman who is living life to the fullest. I guess you could say she’s a poster child for PT4W!

As I said, the weather was beautiful. The temperature was close to 40° and the 10-15 mph winds created a lovely swishing sound as the leafless branches swayed in the wind… sort of a musical soundtrack to our hike. We talked about our husbands, naturally, updated each other on our children, grandkids and grand dogs and had a more serious discussion about navigating the joys and hardships of life.

During our walk, which was slow but steady, we talked about our future dreams. Kathy, who is in the midst of discerning if she wants to be a deacon in her church or continue her volunteer prison ministry, knows that whatever she decides she wants to make a positive difference in the lives of those she encounters. I talked about Prime Time for Women’s new direction and the amazing guests who will be on our national membership platform. Kathy was particularly excited to learn that Dr. Vivien Brown, an international expert on women’s health and healthy aging, will be the featured guest this coming Sunday, February 28 at 3 PM. I promised to send her a link to participate at no cost.

Every week of this journey I experience the gift of women sharing themselves, the beauty of nature and a chance to better understand who I am as I see myself through the eyes of others. Who could ask for more?  I’m one lucky lady!

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