Wild

Old Habit, New Start

One of the habits I am trying to reinstitute in my life, is reading. Readng not only for fun, but to learn something as well. So to meet that goal, I have decided these books will either be classics, biographies, auto biographies, or some other genre that contains substance. Followed up by a review, or lessons learned type post. I’ll save the fiction books for pleasure and may or may not include them.So to start this off, I read Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

Why this book you might ask? Well I saw the movie first before I realized there was a book. Then while we were at REI one night, I noticed the book was on sale, so I thought what the hell, the books are always better than the movie right?

Wild The Book

Quick breakdown of the book. This young woman, Cheryl, loses her mother to cancer and struggles with the loss. Her mother was not only her anchor but the familiy anchor as well and with that anchor gone, the family untimately drifts apart. Cheryl is so consumed with grief that she makes a number of questionable personal choices int he years that follow that grief destroys her marriage. During her downward spiral she comes across a guide book for the Pacific Crest Trail and decides to hike it, which is mostly what the book is about, but as you might guess the hike gives Cheryl time to reflect.

Reflection

Having lost a few family members over the years, some of which I was very close to, I can understand the grief. I also understand, people grieve in their own ways. Cheryl spends a couple of years after mother’s death embroiled in drugs, affairs, and other self destructive behaivor. All the while professing her love to her husband, who she seemingly treats like shit.

So as a method of healing, Cheryl decides to hike the PCT. Which the start of her hike had me laughing, and thinking no…you didn’t just do “X”. Honestly, I don’t know how anyone with little experince would set out on such a hike with no support system, little resources, and no exeperience. How she survived is a miracle in my mind. Especially considering this all took place in the early to mid 90’s, long before cell phones and GPS trackers.

Ultimately Cheryl uses the hike across California and Oregon as a method to heal her grief as well as find her center. As many hikers/bacpackers know, you spend a lot of time learning about you when you’re hiking. Sort of a way to find harmony and your inner strength.

Cheryl Strayed’s website and bio.