My name is Mariam. I’m 28 years old, and I live in Nairobi. I am a Kindergarten teacher by profession.

I have been doing different cardio classes for over 4 years and i was looking for a change.  I started to hike last year just to test my strength and endurance. Noticing the changes in my body and how i felt after the hike is what inspires me to keep at it.

Hiking has made me realize that I have gotten stronger, however there is still room for more. It has never gotten easier for me and sometimes I hate to hike, but I think of where I started with my weight loss journey. I was a chubby girl growing up and I’ve worked so hard to get to this level of fitness that giving up would be a complete waste of all the time and energy I have put into my body.

The last hike I did was this year in May, It was very hard, I ran out of water, my friend was all the way behind me, I didn’t have my phone or any music with me. I was literally on my own. I kept saying to myself and do not look behind you’re not going that way and I kept on running, jogging, walking to the finish line. I thought it was the worst day of my life but after I completed it I was so proud of myself because I did it!!! I had achieved something amazing and unbelievable.

Hiking has empowered me because it is something I did on my own, no one helped me and I was my own cheerleader. Going on a hike and completing it is something no one can take away from you. It is an experience of a lifetime. You learn to face your fears and to control your emotions. It is an overall amazing experience.

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