Black Girl Hiking?

Saturday afternoon I had plans to go to the gym that completely fell through.  I was on the phone with one of my girlfriends and forgot that the YMCA closed earlier than usual. I sat in the parking lot trying to figure out what to do next. my health journey has been on and off but I consistently try to remain as active as possible. I was originally frustrated because I had my workout planned in my head. The usual, but it gets the job done. An hour of cardio on the treadmill, some weights, and the sauna. I got off my routine because I have been spoiled lately with dinners, and have been cooking since I had a friend of mine come to visit.  My son was spending the weekend with his father so I had an abundance of time on my hands. I decided to go to Valley Forge park here in Pennsylvania. I have walked there before, but never realized how huge the park was. I wasn’t too excited about the weather as it was getting cloudy and appeared like a storm was going to come. That evening, I  spent a hour in the park with me and nature. I walked 5 miles of trials and observed the beauty around me. Lately, I have been surrounded by new visitors. Everything that I observe frequently, or encounter more than usual, I  research its spiritual significance. Dragonflies have been surrounding my very presence everyday. This is why I promote awareness/mindfulness. There are so many answers or clues around us, we just have to pay close attention. Since I have been surrounded by dragonflies so much lately, I’m beginning to think they are my spiritual animals. Dragonflies represent change and are creatures of both air and water. They have short life spans that signify the importance to live life to the fullest.  In most parts of the world the dragonfly symbolizes change and self-realization. The person with a dragonfly as a spiritual animal has a better understanding of the deeper meaning of life. Saturday evening I spent my night walking in nature and in the mental space of my purpose. The whole time I was concerned about the down pour, but once my workout was done I embraced the rain. Outside of being a child, this was the first time in a long time I walked in the ran purposely. This time wasn’t like a playful child, instead it signified a cleansing and being renewed.

Sunday I was so excited about getting my 20,000 steps in on my fitbit. As soon as my feet hit the ground, I wanted to explore Valley Forge as a whole. I played it safe the day before by taking the trails that were within the views of my parking spot. The day before I encountered this hill/trail that lead to the woods. It was seven o clock and dark and all I could think about was the episode of “Underground”. There was a pregnant black woman running in the woods from being killed by white slave owners. Its unfortunate but with the recent KKK attacks in Virignia that was the first thing that came to mind. Here I was a black woman, alone in Pennsylvania, a huge Trump supported state thinking of hiking up a hill in the dark. As I always say the black people are the first killed in horror films. So I made a choice that Saturday, during the evening, was not a good decision but I planned on making that trip on that secluded trail in broad daylight.

I was on a mission to conquer that trail but had a few things going against me. I was nervous for one, and for two my time was limited. I told a friend of mine I would attend her event in Philly that afternoon so getting lost was not an option. I set off into the woods with a bottle of water, phone, and headphones. That day at the park of course I was the only person of color. At least this time, if something was to occur I had light working for me. I put my headphones on and silenced the negative thoughts. It was not only a physical battle but a mental battle as well. Something kept telling me to turn around and go the way that I knew. Something else told me to trust myself and to take in the views and that I would find my way back. I had everything I needed, right with me. At this point I had to just trust myself. There was a couple that walked hand in hand in front of me, that became a distraction. Something did not want me to accomplish this task because it knew that was something I wanted. I didn’t want to face these hills and bumpy trails alone. I wanted someone to ease my nervousness and silence my negative thoughts. In my space and at that moment, I did not envy them. I knew that what I was doing at that very moment, was building myself exactly for the partnership that I saw for myself. So I kept pushing forward, alone. I got lost at one point and kept telling myself to go back on the path that was familiar, but I wanted to see if I could find my way back. Instead of going back I focused on moving forward, and seeing if I was going to be able to complete the task at hand. To make this long story of a black girl hiking short. I made it back to my car sweaty, funky, and sore. I started to panic after I looked at the grounds map. They talked about making sure you check for ticks after being in the woods. Bugs and I don’t get along. Lets just say I was itching and searching for ticks the entire way home. God showed me, in the past few days that he sees my struggle. He made it clear to me that he is aware of the things that I have asked him for. He just wanted me to trust in him and within myself. I got caught in a storm, tripped over a few rocks, and got lost only to find myself back to where I started. Where I needed to be. This is what this journey is all about, returning to the pure, innocent version of you. By this way, this black girl can check something else off her bucketlist. #blackgirlshike


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