To “empower” means to make someone stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.

I stumbled upon an article today about women empowerment and it made me stop and take stock of my own life and its trajectory as a result of the decisions I’ve made along the way. I realized that there were instances where I conformed to situations that limited my capabilities so that I didn’t ruffle up any feathers and others simply because I didn’t believe I could do it.

When I made the decision to get back to hiking I was at a place where I felt I didn’t have control over my life, I felt weak and defeated. I often gave my power away by choosing not to speak up, not to go after my dreams and letting situations dictate my life. I thought to myself if I became physically strong maybe that would make me feel in control again, hence I joined the gym and took up hiking.

6 months down the line I have remained consistent in training and attempted 3 hikes so far, I feel stronger and more energetic. I don’t feel in control fully, I don’t think anyone ever is and that’s ok all that matters now is that I am enjoying the process. In retrospect my decision to get back to hiking makes me feel liberated much more than being in control. If anything, the sport presents you with situations that throw you off completely making you lose any sort of control you imagined you had.

I am also learning the importance of self-discipline. As much as the trainer will push me to train beyond my comfort zones, the real work and effort lies with me. No matter how hard or painful it gets my life is my responsibility and I get to choose which direction to steer into. Mary Oliver said “…And you must not give anyone else the responsibility for your life.” Your life is what you make it.

I hope reading this article awakens you and stirs up the courage to claim back your power, freedom or whatever else you choose to call it. I hope that you embark on a journey that introduces you to you and empowers you.