Have you ever felt like you were drowning under water and as if you could not come up for air? 

Hi I’m Lisa, I am a mother of 2 incredible kids, and a wife of 23 years to an amazing partner and friend. It was after the loss of my mom, over 23 years ago to cancer it took all my strength to forge ahead. In that time of unbearable grief, I started on my path of self-discovery and self-love, and learned how a hike changed the trajectory of my life as I once knew it.

Although I felt dead inside, I felt like I was being held under water, drowning, suffocating. It was hard to get out of bed, but I knew I had to get out of this overwhelming feeling of despair and grief.  A friend suggested I get outdoors and go for a hike with her. I didn’t know at that time how this hike, the one that got me out of bed, would change the course of my life. 

I started hiking 23 years ago, alone, with my dog, my husband, with friends and my kids. With each step I took I learned more about what hiking had to teach me. Hiking forces you to go within, be in the moment and be away from the noise in our lives. It puts you in the present moment, because you are forced to be there, to be raw and real with yourself and with others. I noticed that when I hiked and was out in the wide-open space, breathing fresh air and surrounded by beauty and nature, I started to feel better mentally as well as physically, I was getting stronger in my body as well as my mind, and I started to heal. I found mind-body connection, and it was on the top of that mountain that I started to feel alive again. Hiking is about the goal, it’s a form of nourishment you give to yourself, I call it my moving meditation.

I wanted to shout out this experience to everyone I knew, what hiking taught me, and how it changed everything for me. And it can for you too. I started to think about all the people I can empower with what I learned so they don’t feel alone in their struggles or challenges, all through the healing power of nature and being outdoors. I went back to school at the age of 53 to become a health coach and this is where I found my trail. 

BUT…Did you also know that hiking outdoors provides enormous health benefits? 

For starters, you can get your dose of Vitamin D for an immune booster. A hike through nature in just 90 minutes is proven to lower stress, boost motivation as well as brain health. It gives you purpose and clarity, increases positivity, improves heart health, lowers cortisol levels and releases seratonin, the feel good hormone. 

It gives you a sense of strength in yourself that you didn’t know you had. You feel grounded and connected. It gives you an enormous sense of accomplishment as well as takes you out of your comfort zones, physically and mentally. It makes you think you are stronger than you think you are when you get to the top of a mountain.

No wonder I was feeling better! Just imagine how much better YOU will feel when you are actually experiencing nature in all its glory, feeling the sun on your shoulders, breathing in fresh air with dramatic views, clear blue sky above, maybe even spotting a deer or two and feeling the earth beneath you, grounding you. Empowering you. You feel better just thinking about it right?

Should I hike alone or with a group? 

If you are the kind of person who feeds off the energy of others, the group creates a dynamic of incredible bonding, a stronger connection and a deeper understanding of one another. On the other hand, hiking alone gives you tremendous clarity because it forces you to go within and connect with yourself. Often times, I would start at the bottom of the mountain and ask myself “What do I need to know today? Sometimes the answers would come and sometimes they don’t, but what a great way to find them! 

In our frenzied world today, I feel we have lost the art of togetherness with cell phones and computers.  Hiking gives you this sense of togetherness we are missing, a sense of community.  Each and every one of us has struggles; we may have bad days, bad months or even a bad year, and in my case many years, but when we step out onto those trails and get outside we feel.. Liberated. Strong. Centered. Empowered. Grounded. I have witnessed it time and time again.

Sometimes you need to step outside, get out of bed, get some air and remind yourself who you want to be. Sometimes all it takes is a hike. 

I am now referred to as a TrailBlazer! I am a Transformational Certified Coach and the founder of Finding Your Trail, a unique hiking empowerment program that guides small groups and challenges them physically, mentally and spiritually through hiking, connection and meditation. The focus is geared toward finding one’s truth out in nature through self-care and self love. FYT is a community and has been featured in local magazines, Thrive Global, podcasts, and local newspapers.

When the program became so in demand, I designed a licensed version that can be packaged and branded for like-minded businesses to increase their offerings.  

What is Finding Your Trail?

It is a program about the transformation of the mind, body and soul. Small groups of participants (around 12) work together for up to 12 weeks through hiking or similar movement. The basis of this program is physical exercise, spiritual awakening (meditation), and emotional connectivity (conversation and sharing) – the evolution from week to week is profound. Each week is designed with an intention.  Along with your choice of movement, there may also be an activity or action step to accompany the week. The weeks are designed to build upon the previous lessons and teachings. As each participant starts to peel back their emotional layers and dig deeper within, the magic starts to happen. 

Happy Trails!

Lisa Taitelman is a Transformational Coach, who calls herself a Trail Blazer, she currently guides groups of women and challenges them physically through hiking, emotionally, through sharing and connection, and spiritually through meditation. She inspires and educates that it is never too late to reinvent yourself through her 6-week hiking empowerment program called Finding Your Trail.  For more information on her different programs, please visit her website here: www.lisataitelman.com