Episode 160: Walking Can Change the World

Interview with Amanda “Zuul” Jameson

Sponsored by Ikon Pass & BetterHelp.

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Amanda Jameson has walked over 3500 miles since setting foot on the Colorado Trail in 2015. She documents her walks on her blog and social media platform, Brown Girl on the NST, or Brown Girl on the National Scenic Trail. Amanda’s writing is about more than simply sharing her thru-hikes as a Black, queer, woman  – it’s about taking an intersectional approach to thru-hiking, and in doing so, being one part of helping to continue shifting the demographics of those who walk on trail.

In this episode, we’ll hear about how thru-hiking has helped Amanda help her come to know the most present version of herself, how the trail helps her let go of control, the parallels between long-distance walks and antiracism work, and more.

Full transcript available after the photos and resources.

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Featured in this episode: Amanda Jameson

Hosted by Gale Straub

Ad music in this episode is by Swelling & Lee Rosevere using a Creative Commons attribution license.

Music is also by Marie Hines, Josh Hoover, Eric Kinny, Utah via MusicBed.

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Amanda Jameson aka “Brown Girl on the NST”

Amanda Jameson, who talks about the kind of progress you can see on the trail.

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TRANSCRIPT

Gale Straub – Narration:

I’m Gale Straub and you’re listening to She Explores.

Amanda Jameson:

That’s one of my favorite parts of hiking, yes, but thru-hiking in particular — is that every day you can see how far you’ve come and there’s nothing like that experience to me. I think it’s very easy in the front country to sit at a computer and to do all sorts of work, but you’re in this one place and it’s so, so easy at the end of the day to be like, I have no idea what I just did today. Whereas when you’re, when you’re on a thru hike, when you’re on a long distance backpacking trip, it’s very easy to be like I was all, I was on the other side of that mountain today. Just this morning, I was on the other side of that mountain. And now I’m here. Look at what my body has done. Look at how far I’ve made it, just because I wanted to. And to me, that’s really beautiful.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Amanda Jameson has thru hiked over 3500 miles since setting foot on the Colorado Trail in 2015. She documents her movement on her blog and handle, Brown Girl on the NST, or Brown Girl on the National Scenic Trail. Amanda’s writing is about more than simply sharing her thru-hikes as a Black, queer, woman – it’s about taking an intersectional approach to thru hiking, and in doing so, being one part of helping to continue shifting the demographics of those who walk on trail. The beauty of visible progress that Amanda speaks to is relatively easy to come by when taking steps along a path, but as you’ll hear throughout our conversation – it’s possible to experience progress in other aspects of our lives, too. So long as we’re open and dedicated to the work it takes to achieve it.

Gale Straub:

When we chatted last, you said, quote, “movement not only changes lives, it changes the world” unquote, how, how did you come to that sentiment?

Amanda Jameson:

A lot of it came from my master’s studies. So my focus was explicitly anthropological, which is just a fancy way of saying that I studied the ways in which culture or what we think is normal sort of changes when you change contexts. So for me, um, migrants moving was the way that I sort of like initially frame that, that thought. So you, you moved to a different country and you bring your traditions with you. You’re changed by what’s around you and you change what is around you because you just simply by virtue of your existence in a space. I think that that’s true of all movement. I think that by moving, by interacting with folks, even in a hiking context, I have met so many people on trails that have made me think, um, and that changes the way I exist in the world. Um, and I like to think that the people who have met me have also been moved or changed by those interactions, maybe in small ways, maybe in big ways, but those changes have a palpable effect on the world that we live in.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Amanda believes that movement begets movement, that change can be accelerated through inertia. For Amanda, much of the movement in her life takes the shape of long distance hikes, or as she often calls them: walks.

Amanda Jameson:

I feel like using the words, hike or trek, make it something more than it is even a through hike is just putting one foot in front of the other until you arrive at your destination. That’s, that’s a very reductionist way to put it. And I totally understand that, but, but to me ultimately, that’s what it is. And that is the act of walking to some folks like hiking or the concept of hiking seems more inaccessible. The concept of tracking seems more inaccessible, but walking is something that they do every day. And so sure there’s more to it than just walking there’s of course like feeding yourself and water filtration and a map reading and making sure that you don’t get lost. And of course, interacting with other hikers and hitchhiking and trail angels and everything that that makes a through hiking experience and the root of all that is just putting one foot in front of the other. And so for me, the word walking versus hiking or trekking just sort of breaks it down into what it is because you can, you can learn all of that other stuff, but hiking or walking rather really simplifies it. And I think makes us, it makes it accessible for a lot of people in, in ways that maybe they don’t think that they’re up for a long distance hike, but they might be up for a long distance walk.

Gale Straub – Narration:

We don’t exclusively call hikes or treks walks in this converstion, but I think it’s telling of the way Amanda sees the world, and the activities she devotes her time to. Amanda does note, though, that access is more complicated than just being able to put one foot in front of the other.

Amanda Jameson:

Even just the ability to walk is a privilege. I really hope that in the future that we can work on access to the outdoors and access to experiences like long distance hiking to folks with mobility issues or disabilities so that they can also experience that because quite frankly, walking is something over privileged because not everybody has access to that either.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Amanda points out that thru hiking is a privilege too.

Amanda Jameson:

Being able to take four to six months out of your life to do a very unusual thing, um, is very much a privilege. I have been lucky enough in my life to have had that experience, not once, not twice, but two and a half times, we’ll say.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Before Amanda hiked the Colorado Trail or the PCT, or half of the Enchantment Trail – her first long walk was in the UK.

Amanda Jameson:

During exams, a group of friends and I decided to essentially take a walk along the Thames Path. I studied in Oxford and Oxford sits right on the Thames River. And so we decided to walk the 33 miles from Oxford to the source of the Thames. It took three days. I believe we stayed in bed and breakfast or one evening at a spa. I believe in general it was very like very light packs, just cause we were sleeping in beds every night, very cush compared to what I’m I’m used to now, but it was a really, a really good way to get away from very stressful master’s degree. Um, and to just sort of get some space and to remember that life wasn’t all studying and libraries and, uh, large imposing stone halls.

Gale Straub:

Did it feel like were you in doing it, you were like, I’m doing this to connect with the outdoors?

Amanda Jameson:

It was less, it started out less about the outdoors, I think, but very quickly became about the countryside and the interaction between the me and the folks that were on the trip. Me and the just sort of like watching, watching my step, watching my footing and, and me in the landscape. There were, I have this very vivid memory of wandering through my first field of cows. Uh, just because, uh, land in England is owned by the queen. And so essentially if you’re not in someone’s house, you’re allowed to pass over their land. The Thames path sort wanders through what we in the U S would consider private land, but what in the UK is considered public land. I have this distinct memory of wandering through this herd of cows who were very much used to people passing through in that way. Um, and so it was very intimidating to, to that was the closest I’ve ever been to a cow at that point. And, um, just to, just to have them sort of like wandering in and out of us, as we walked along was quite the memorable experience!

Gale Straub – Narration:

This is going to sound a little trite, but as we walk through life, we look back and shape our own stories. One story that Amanda told for a while was that she got her start long distance walking the 30 mile Gore Range Trail in Colorado. She didn’t necessarily see the Thames Walk as the start of her long distance walking.

Amanda Jameson:

Technically I didn’t go from the sea to the source of the Thames, right? So like I didn’t quote unquote thru hike. I would, I would say that that was a long distance hike. Certainly for me, I had never tried to walk 33 miles in a stretch, but that was a thing that I did. And it wasn’t until years later that I was reminded by a Facebook memory that this is something that I had done before I really got into, into hiking, particularly in the U S or really just sort of understood anything about long distance hiking or through hiking. So it’s interesting the way that our expectations are set up around, like what, what is a legitimate through what is a legitimate long distance backpack and how we, how we want to be sort of strict and restrictive around what that is and what that means. And I think that, that doesn’t always serve the community, uh, in the ways that it could,

Gale Straub:

That kind of language can feel like very achievement focused.

Amanda Jameson:

Yeah. Suggesting that outdoors time, like has to, has to do something or has to mean something when, to me sort of as time has gone on, that’s not the way that I approach being in the outdoors or even thru hiking.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Amanda grew up in movement. Her extended family lives in Ohio, but for the first several years of her life, she and her parents lived in Virginia prompting semi-annual road trips. So after Amanda went to Vassar in New York for undergrad, she craved change.

Amanda Jameson:

And, um, and then after Vassar ended up on a fellowship and traveled to Jaipur to learn Hindi for nine months, came back to Ohio for a little bit before then heading to Oxford for my masters, uh, came back and then moved around a lot from Florida to New York, to Wisconsin, to Texas. And before finally landing in Colorado where I’ve been on and off, um, this feels like home. This feels like a home base certainly, and has been for the last seven years.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Amanda told me over the phone that she spent much of her life occupying liminal spaces or those in between spaces, whether it’s as a light skinned Black woman, as a recently out queer person or being torn between family and Ohio and the life she’s building Colorado home for Amanda is less about constants and more about people seeing her for who she is.

Amanda Jameson:

Home is where you feel that you can be the most current iteration of yourself. Um, and so it’s a place where not only are you, are, you loved and welcome for who you have been, but you’re also loved and welcomed for who you’re becoming. So change is really important in that and allowing for change. I feel like I was in a lot of ways mentally prepared for anything, which was a good thing and just sort of learning or better learning, I suppose, those skills on the fly is quite an experience.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Amanda’s first thru hike was on the Colorado trail in 2015.

Amanda Jameson:

So I had moved to Colorado just a few years prior. Um, and thanks to a friend sort of gotten in touch with learned about through hiking. Cause I did not know about through hiking until I moved to Colorado managed to through him, uh, get involved with the annual day zero Pacific crest trail kickoff, um, long word for a lovely weekend full of folks coming back who had already hiked the trail welcoming hikers who were just starting the trail because it happened essentially at the at Lake Marina, which is about 18 miles, 20 miles into the trail. And so it’s literally people just sort of like starting out on their trip and sort of celebrating them and offering them water reports at the time when there was less of a Google-Drive way to take care of those things and teaching people about snowpack people, teaching people about botany, teaching people, just all sorts of things that they might’ve wanted to know about the trail and also sort of providing a community. And so for, for me, I had sort of been to these very communal events and like known that I’d wanted to through hike. I managed to get out on, I got, I gathered all of my gear cause I didn’t have any hiking at the time made, made about 33 miles on the Gore range trail, which is just outside of Silverthorne, Colorado and ended up hiking to copper mountain Colorado. So that was like my one shakedown hike. Uh, so the Colorado Trail for me was very much a learn how to hike trail.

Amanda Jameson:

It was a trail where I have all of my sort of thoughts from the trail on my blog and going back to read, those has been just a treat occasionally just to sort of see that, like I really struggled on the Colorado trail. I was struggling with like drinking enough water and struggling with reading the weather and struggling with just my body was not as in as good a shape as it could have been. And so just sort of like all of those struggles reading about those, but then reading about these super sublime moments that I had, where the trees would just open up and I would be treated to this incredible view or I made it to the top of a pass and it was just the most celebratory thing because now I could go downhill downhill.

Gale Straub – Narration:

We’ll hear more from Amanda after this.

AD BREAK

Gale Straub – Narration:

We’re back.

Amanda Jameson:

There’s just something about, um, I mean we talked a little bit about that sense of accomplishment that I feel like is very hard to find in the front country. And there’s a lot to be said for the simplicity of a through hike after the ups and downs of the Colorado trail. I want you to know what kept Amanda coming back to long walks, the things that I have to worry about on a, through hike, our nature. So whether he cool, all of that sort of thing and then myself. So I very much have to be in tune with my body. I have to, I have to know when I’m thirsty to make sure that I don’t get dehydrated. I have to know if I’m feeling hot or cold so that I know when to layer, um, or take off layers or drink more water or sit in the shade. If that’s all I can do, nature forces you to listen in ways that we were encouraged not to listen. I would argue in the front country and, and just the simplicity of, okay, the things I have to do today are walk, eat, drink, sleep, um, and being able to sort of fulfill those in any order and on your own schedule is really freeing. And then there’s also an aspect of, for me of, can I do this? Is this something that I’m capable of? I don’t know, but I definitely like to find out.

Gale Straub – Narration:

So when you, when you talk about those like iterations of yourself, or are there certain places that you have, and I guess I’m thinking about your longer walks, but places or times that you’ve moved through that have helped you come in touch with the most current version of yourself?

Amanda Jameson:

Yeah, definitely the, the long walks, for sure, particularly, I would say the Pacific crest trail and the granted gym and trail, the Colorado Trail was very much about just sort of like learning to exist in nature and learning a lot of acceptance of things that you cannot change, but also adaptation to the things that you can. But the Pacific Crest Trail was really for me a space a time where I was able to think really hard about the relationships that I was currently in and the relationships that had gone past, or, and that’s not just romantic relationships, that’s friendships as well. Um, but just sort of interrelations with people that were fresh and current and felt good. Um, and the relationships with folks that had lapsed or people that I hadn’t spoken to in a really long time. Um, it also allowed me to get in touch with me. I think that the, the way that we have set up society in the U S does not really allow for a lot of sort of self reflection or growth or challenge in ways that allow you to grow as a person, rather than allowing you to grow like specific skillsets. I feel like we don’t really do a lot of work with, for example, emotional intelligence or tapping into our needs on the regular.

Gale Straub:

It’s interesting to think about the, you talk about society or like the lives that we set up for ourselves in the front country are about achievements or acquiring skills. And then there’s also this like seeming lack of time. Um, and I’ve never done a long through hike, but I can understand that there is this, it feels probably like there’s a, there’s two feelings at once. There’s like all this time, but then you’re also kind of hiking and walking towards the goal and against a clock in certain ways. Like how do you, how do you balance that?

Amanda Jameson:

I am definitely a goal oriented person. So for me, a lot of through hiking was also like knowing that I could set a goal and meet it and being gentle with myself when I didn’t being willing to on the fly, be able to sit down at noon and say, okay, I have only hiked eight miles today. Quote unquote only a that’s a long distance for some folks. And I want to acknowledge that I’ve only hiked eight miles a day. My plan was to do 25. I’m probably not going to get all 25. So how many can I get? Where, where do I think is feasible to stop for the night? So being sort of aggressive with goal setting and sort of being gentle with yourself, with yourself when you can’t meet it. And there are also those days, right where you set a goal, you’re like, I want to do 20 miles today, which is on the Pacific crest trail, generally pretty average for a hiker, but you get to 20 miles by 2:00 PM. So suddenly there’s all of this daylight still to hike. And if you have the energy you can keep going. And so it’s, it’s also being able to, to adapt in that way and to delight in what your body can do, regardless of, of whether or not you meet the goal. You exceeded the goal, you don’t meet the goal. I’m just sort of like finding peace with that.

Gale Straub:

What’s your experience been like with the thru hiking community? Like when you talked about people who see you, you know, and, and see you as your most realized self, like have you met people through the, thru hiking community where you feel like, Oh, I guess that feeling of home with them?

Amanda Jameson:

Absolutely. What’s constantly surprising to me about the trail is just like how many different types of people, types of personalities, interests that aren’t through hiking, um, professions that aren’t through hiking, just like how, how at least intellectually diverse, we’ll say the trails really are. And in, in that diversity, you can always, not always, but very often find people to call home. And even when you have disagreements with folks on the trail, to me, it seems much more like you’re trying to find common ground. Like the, the disagreement is a struggle to find common ground rather than to argue a point, which is a valuable thing in these times.

Gale Straub:

Absolutely. What would you say are some aspects of either thru hiking or the thru hiking community that you’ve, you’ve personally just decided weren’t really for you?

Amanda Jameson:

Hmm. So there’s this thread in through hiking as there is, I believe in most outdoor activities where there’s a very colonial aspect to it. So you’re gonna, you’re gonna conquer that peak. You’re gonna crush those miles. That to me, doesn’t really, isn’t really evocative of the relationship with nature that I feel like I’ve developed over these trips. For me, it’s nature. Isn’t something to be conquered on these journeys. It’s more something to nature as a partner in these journeys to, to work with and to learn from, and to listen to, because certainly on the grand and Tampa trail, if you don’t listen to nature, if you don’t learn from sort of the natural cycles of heat and cool day and night, you get in, you can get into trouble pretty quickly. So, so for me, part of any through hike for me is just like existing in, in and on nature’s time and alongside nature’s rhythms.

Amanda Jameson:

And that’s like a really beautiful aspect of it for me. Another part that I’ve rejected is the, the instant bringing of baggage from the front country into the backcountry, particularly around race and around racialized sort of stereotypes or expectations that people have of certain folks. So for example, as a Black woman, there were plenty of times, particularly on the PCT where I felt like I had to speak up because ultra being racist and while depending on safety, depending on sort of how I’m feeling, depending on what’s going on with me that day, I may choose to engage or not to engage, but I really have no interest in being in community with people who would deny me any aspect of my humanity. Um, and so one of the ways that that manifests on trail is just that I know that some people are not my people and there are some people that are more casual about it and not particularly invested in it and more open to learning into growth interchange. And there are some people that that’s just what they believe, and I am not going to be the one to change their mind. And so to me, just finding, finding that home on the trail and finding your people, finding the folks who see you as a person, all of you, including your, my blackness, finding those people has led to some of the, the deepest conversation and the, some of the most valuable experiences that I’ve had with folks on trail.

Gale Straub – Narration:

One of the most consistent narratives that I hear and read about the outdoors and something that we’ve even talked about through this podcast before is the phrase nature doesn’t see color or the outdoors doesn’t discriminate. So it’s important that Amanda leads with this, the fact that people bring their biases and discrimination onto the trail with them.

Amanda Jameson:

It feels weird to be defending people about this, but like the folks who say that nature doesn’t see color, they are right. Like, that’s, that’s why I love being out in nature so much is because that tree doesn’t care. If I’m black, that rock doesn’t care that I’m a woman, those clouds don’t care that I’m queer, but hiking. Isn’t just about nature and hiking, a long trail in this day and age, certainly isn’t, you are almost always surrounded by other hikers and other hikers are part and parcel of the experience. And that’s not something that I would change certainly about the PCT or the Colorado trail. Um, I think that an important aspect of both of those trails for me was the social aspect. And like I was saying, people bring their cultural baggage with them when they come out onto the trail. Um, and so that, that is where the racism, sexism, the homophobia, the, all of the other isms come into play. And so it’s watching, watching that happen in real time. Online is kind of a wild experience because people are just so close to the point. They’re so close, but not quite there.

Gale Straub – Narration:

Amanda is a justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant. Early in the episode, I hinted at the kind of progress that can come from taking step after step after making a commitment to take action. Amanda sees this as integral in the active fight against racism.

Gale Straub:

So would you be willing to walk through a couple of those parallels that you see between a thru hike and anti-racism work?

Amanda Jameson:

Hmm, yes. I mean, first off, there’s just a lot of prep work that goes in before, before you can can say, to sort of have started the work there’s, there’s a lot that goes into it. And a lot of that is reflection work. So taking a look at your actions and the, the ways that you’ve behaved when people have tried to call you in and have those been useful and kind and thankful,

Gale Straub:

I love that the aspect of like the prep work, because I’m sure that there are some people, you know, if you’re, if we’re using the metaphor of the trail who maybe do a whole lot of research and decide that they’re going to do something and they’re going to make all these changes and then they never even set foot on the figurative trail.

Amanda Jameson:

Yeah, absolutely. And that’s definitely the case with anti racism too, is you can, you can sort of do all of this sort of introspection and sort of take a look at your behaviors in the past and sort of like what those are rooted in and how those are harmful to other people, and then decide that, and then take a look at sort of like all the work that’s still left to do all of the walking, so to speak that’s still left to do and decide that it’s not worth it for you, or you don’t want to, or you quote unquote can’t. But for the people who decide still that this is something that they’re passionate about, and this is something that they want to do to see if they can start to become a person who does less harm. I’m not really a big fan of the good, bad binary.

Amanda Jameson:

So becoming a quote unquote, better person doesn’t really speak to me. But just, just to, as a part of a community, like being someone who does less harm to the people around them, um, that’s, that’s often a really big motivator for a lot of people. Um, and so for those people, it’s very much being focused on one step at a time. You don’t get to, to Canada or to Mexico or to the other Terminus that you’re headed to in a day. And this is work that has been going on for longer than any of us have been alive. Um, this is work that will likely continue long after we are gone. And knowing that all we personally have to do is to keep making forward progress. We’re lucky in that we’re not affected so much by and anti-racism work as we are, um, in, through hiking, but being willing to take one step at a time.

Amanda Jameson:

Um, so two and two, sometimes you’re going to make more miles than you thought you were going to make. And sometimes you’re going to make fewer miles than you thought you were going to make, but you are, you are making progress, um, and you are making change. Um, and just like through hiking, taking zero days is really important. Taking a rest, making sure that your cup is full so that you can continue to do the work in a sustainable way is also really important. And then just knowing just, just as all of us go at different speeds, knowing that just because someone else is doing something particularly, something very visible, like being out on the streets and protesting doesn’t mean that that’s how your hike, so to speak has to go. So maybe you’re not out in the streets, but you’re educating your friends on social media.

Amanda Jameson:

Maybe you’re not out on the streets, but you have money that you can donate to causes. Maybe you’re not out in the streets, but you are specifically taking care of folks in the community. Um, in a more direct way, there, there are so many ways to be involved in this work, just like there are so many speeds that different people move at and you can adapt and adjust, um, as, as you need to in the moment. So maybe sometimes you are out protesting, but sometimes you’re too tired or there’s too much going on. And so instead you decide to repost that article on social media, or you decide to have a specific conversation with a relative that’s being problematic, or you, again, donate to those organizations like there, we can all still be on the hike and recognize that we’re not this, the steps that I take are not the steps that you take. Even, even if we are all affected by the same weather or we’re on the same stretch of trail, the goal is to still get to Canada, right? Like the goal is to still achieve liberation for everyone. So yes, rest is important. Yes. Rest is revolutionary in some cases, certainly for people of color doing the work for queer people, doing the work for trans people doing the work. And we still have this, this goal that we’re after. And we need to keep that insight as well.

Gale Straub:

How do you take rest if you don’t mind sharing?

Amanda Jameson:

Funny question, I’m sorry for the laughter. Feel free to keep, keep, please feel free to keep that in. Well, especially this week or last couple of months. Yeah. It’s been a lot the couple of months. And so for me, rest is really difficult. I’m one of those people who always wants to stay busy. Um, and a lot of that is pain avoidance. A lot of that is not. If I, if I stay busy, I don’t have to feel my feelings about any of this. I can just rush right on through, but I have found rest in naps. Uh, I have found rest in baths. I have found rest in taking those moments that my cat provides me, uh, by either, uh, foisting himself into my lap or onto my chest to just take even small moments to be present, uh, in ways that I often am not also, I’ve gotten more into cooking in these times.

Amanda Jameson:

Um, and so feeding myself, nourishing myself, not only physically, but also mentally. So in addition to a lot of liberation work and antiracist work that I’m reading, I’m also reading scifi books for fun, just to be able to allow myself that momentary escape. And it’s never a true escape and I don’t want it to be, but it’s just a moment to be able to see through someone else’s eyes and to revel in possibility often, which is why I usually read scifi or fantasy is just because particularly after a scifi fantasy is just because it is all about possibility and what could be.

Gale Straub:

What role does does nature play in that rest? Or I know a couple of weeks ago you got to get out for a, a weekend backpacking trip. What role does does that play?

Amanda Jameson:

You know, it’s really hard for me to feel fed in the ways that I want to be fed with day hikes. Um, and with sort of like very what feels to me, and this is, I don’t think this of other people, this is just sort of how I feel about it, but like more compared to being out for five months a day, hike feels pretty shallow. Um, and doesn’t, it, doesn’t sort of nourish me in the ways that I, I crave. I moved into a place that has a yard and I found a lot of joy just sitting in the yard on a blanket, doing nothing, but like watching the bees and finding that dragon fly and, Oh, Hey, there’s a 10 striped, June beetle. I’m watching the way the leaves move, uh, watching the weather roll in and out. Um, and that’s really new for me getting to experience like one, just with all of the moving, getting to experience one particular place over an extended period of time and just sort of like watch how the changing of the seasons affects the changing of the landscape. Like that sort of deep interaction with nature is definitely something that I didn’t know I was craving. And so it’s, while it’s very different than, you know, walking thousands of miles, I think that it’s healing and beautiful and lovely, and just a really great way to spend some time.

Gale Straub – Narration:

At the beginning of this episode, Amanda talked about how movement can change the world. And there was more to that thought too. And I want to leave us with it now because I hope it will resonate more deeply after getting to know Amanda and her reflections on progress.

Amanda Jameson:

Even in 2016, when I hiked the PCT, there was a lot of misunderstanding, I think, around the Black Lives Matter movement. And while I still think that that misunderstanding exists here, we are four years later and suddenly there’s a lot less confusion around it. And that is because not only just sort of like the greater situation is different, but people are open to that kind of change because of the way that essentially the way that we’ve all interacted, whether that’s the unfortunate, honestly horrifying spread of the Coronavirus to just the ways that we, we interact with each other on, on a more racial footing as well. Um, so those, those movements, those changes, those conversations. I think that they do change the world and they can change the world for the better they don’t always have to. But I think that we can make a concerted effort so that we’re moving towards liberation for everyone so that we’re moving so that everyone can be fully present in the current iteration of themselves at all times. And they don’t have to regulate that. They don’t have to show some parts and hide other parts. They can just be themselves at all times. And that’s really what I think, that I hope that we’re headed towards.

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