I’m Maggie, a long time Vermonter and Women’s Adventure Guide.
I had a unique chance to change my career at 50. The pandemic had hit, I’d been laid off. I was hurt and angry and started to make poor choices with how I spent my day. As the lock-down of Spring 2020 eased and we started seeing people again, I began to get outside and hike with a good friend. It was a better choice and we knew it.
She and I had worked together and been laid off together. We’d worked at this groovy young company where all the staff were buff. They’d do stuff like hike a mountain and ski down it before work. Hah. We were always the slow ones in the group. It made us kinda hate hiking. We loved the summit, but the pace was a killer. I also always felt fat and old and slow next to these fit young bodies. I felt I was holding up the group and just loathed the feeling.
So now, this hiking stuff, at my pace, it was good for my body and head. And in one of our little day hikes, we landed ourselves on the Long Trail in a shelter. Proud of our meager 1.5 miles and 780 feet of elevation. That’s when “she” came through. This mid 30’s gal, normal size, fleshy, with boobs and an ass. She wasn’t ripped, she wasn’t young, she wasn’t a guy, she couldn’t fight bears. She was normal. She was me, kinda.
She still doesn’t know how she changed my life, because she changed my lens.
Now I had a goal, a 273 mile goal, I was going to thru-hike the Long Trail. For at least one day. Surely. So I hiked. I hiked to learn my pace, hiked to practice using my gear, hiked to see if I was strong enough physically. I researched. I researched how to feed myself, how to carry less, how to pack my bag, how to hang a bear bag, how to use a compass… it just kept going, bottomless research.
And then I stepped on the trail. And didn’t step back off until I’d walked the length of Vermont, from Massachusetts to Canada.
I cried, I learned, I grew. And I became in awe of my plump old body. This body that took me over 70,000 feet of elevation, almost 300 miles of one foot in front of the other. Over 30 nights on the trail. See I’m slow, and I love it. And I love my body.
I was hooked and decided to dedicate my 2nd career to inspiring others, showing them the beauty of the mountains and trails in Vermont, showing them where their body can take them and how we can enjoy health at every size. I had taught canoeing and sailing at Summer Camp as a teen. I’d backpacked and bike packed and camped. These landscapes aren’t for the dudes on the magazine covers, they’re for you and your mom and your daughter and your sister and your bff’s. They’re for everyone to hike their own hike, and find a pace that makes their body and soul revel in the beauty of its achievements and surroundings.
Come enjoy the view with me and let’s find your inner strength and wonder!