A Year In Review

This was an update I made to my Facebook Group: Living Life and Testing Limits – Human Powered:

“Well folks, this group was in need of an update. I’ve changed the name and description to include all of my endeavors. I coined the slogan “Living Life and Testing Limits” about 2 years ago to describe not only my website, but also my personal lifestyle in general.

2014 was an incredible year for me. It began with a thru-hike of the San Diego Trans County Trail, followed by an EPIC thru-hike of the Continental Divide Trail. When I began long-distance hiking via the Pacific Crest Trail I thought nothing could ever compare… and I was right. No other trail does compare, but the CDT stole my heart. The sheer beauty and her ever-changing nature makes me weak in the knees. I experienced some of the most spectacular country while traveling through NM, CO, WY, and MT. I finished the CDT in a little under 5 months on September 25th at 6:13pm. Now, I definitely had my fair share of health issues on that hike (more so than ever before) but I enjoyed every second of being able to be out in such a majestic landscape. Seizures were extremely prevalent the last 3 months, but I was blessed to be hiking with a great group of individuals. I’m sure my stubbornness was incredibly hard to deal with at times, but being docile and giving in to weakness never accomplished anything. Albeit, the seizures got incredibly hard to fend off towards the end and I was having a bout of them roughly every other day… if not daily. But I tried to the best of my ability to not let them control me.

Upon returning from the CDT I thru-hiked the San Joaquin River Trail (again) setting a record of 4.5 days to travel about 150 miles. Granted there are only 2 times the SJRT has been thru-hiked and both have been by me. Regardless, it was another great achievement.

The start of 2015 was wonderful! I spent the entire first 2 months backpacking. A group of good friends (family) went and thru-hiked the San Diego Trans County Trail… again (it’s an annual hike/family reunion). Upon finishing I hopped in a car and drove cross-country to hike the 250 mile Ouachita (pronounced: Wash-i-Taw) in Oklahoma and Arkansas. It as a wonderful little trail and some good exposure to hiking back East.

Upon returning, I went into dermatology for a few suspicious spots that had been appearing within the last couple months. I had 4 surgeries and am still awaiting the outcome. Some of you may know that because of the TBI I sustained 8 years ago I do not numb for surgeries. So it’s never very fun going under the knife. However, these past 4 incisions weren’t as excruciating as my previous 11 surgeries so that’s always a plus!

A few weeks ago I put out my official announcement of thru-hiking the Great Himalaya Trail in Nepal come April 2016. There are less than 10 people in the entire world to thru-hike the high route in the same self-supported fashion I’ll utilize. I’m stoked to take on this new challenge and see the beauty of the Himalaya Range.

I also announced a perimeter swim of Lake Tahoe come late July/August. This 72 mile swim will also be self-supported. Although the water will be 55-60 degrees I will not wear a wetsuit or utilize fins. I’ll tow all my food, camping gear, camera, water etc in a dry bag behind me that’s attached to my body. I’m planning on this endeavor taking 7 days at 10 miles/day.

On May 12th I’ll begin a ~350mi route I created up in the High Sierra which will utilize the SJRT on the return leg so I’ll technically be able to “walk home.”

I’ve got a few other plans up my sleeve as well… so stay tuned.

This life is about truly living and following your passions. It just so happens that mine include being out in nature and testing my body in a way that has long-since been forgotten and overthrown by the complexities of “city life.” I updated the description of this group to “Human Powered.” I fully believe and cherish the beauty of approaching adventure under the will and skill set of our own bodies. I love the feeling of accomplishment that I receive knowing that I got someplace through no outside help. Our bodies are capable of incredible feats if we harness our dormant abilities.

I hope you had a great weekend! Keep spreading the love!

Sara “BloodBank” Fry

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Boundless Opportunities

“As my head hits the hard compacted dirt I’ve gratefully chosen to call my bed for the evening I wonder if it’ll ever subside. I vividly dream of places I’ve never been with people I have yet to meet. The boundless opportunities to share love linger on my skin like a silken cocoon. Wrapped in visions of unknown yet familiar territories I close my wandering eyes and drift away from the shackles of consciousness as I free my spirit and dance through the realms of a universe beckoning to be explored. There’s one thing I know for certain – my human body knows the secrets of the soul and my cells will continue to dream and discover until my bones disintegrate and the dust of my past blankets every corner of this beautiful world.”

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All material is copyrighted. Do not duplicate or share without written consent from the author – Sara Fry

Late Night Ramblings

“I was forged with a burning desire to experience as much as I allowed myself. No longer was the question of fathomability present. For I had felt the impossible and the illusion of limits had been dissolved. My mind had shifted and I knew that I possessed everything there ever was. The choice was mine, yet strangely it had already been solidified centuries before. The knowledge of “how far can I take this” had evolved into “how deep can I go” and because of that pristine truth I was forever open to the unimaginable.”

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All material is copyrighted. Do not duplicate or share without written consent from the author – Sara Fry

Why I Hike – CDT Dreaming

In a little over 3 months I’ll begin my next thru-hike on the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). I’ve received an overwhelming amount of family, friends, and followers who ask the age old question: “Why?”

Everyone has their own reason why they chose to spend months on end exploring our rugged backcountry. In fact, there’s a saying among the thru-hiking community – “If you have to ask, you’re never going to understand.” But it’s my hope that you WILL understand and that you’ll be inspired to go out there and follow your dreams; no matter how crazy or difficult they may seem.

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I hike for my health. Many of you know that I sustained Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) when I was 15. I was in a coma, I had to relearn basic functions, and I was bed ridden for almost 3 years of my life. I was unable to go outside because the light was “too bright” and I couldn’t listen to music because it was “too loud.” Many of my symptoms have gotten better since then, but my life has been drastically changed because of my TBI.

When you experience as much pain as I do on a daily basis, you realize that no matter where you are, the pain you’re in is going to be the same regardless of your location. I’ve been told by all of my doctors that I MUST work out daily. Physical activity then, is not a suggestion, but a prescription. For me, hiking has wholeheartedly become the only prescribed medical regime that has made my deficits more tolerable.

When I’m outside in nature backpacking I’m still experiencing all the physical ailments that I would if I were inside laying in bed. The only difference is that I’m in a place I love, as opposed to being confined to the tethers that sick people are supposed to be tied to. I would much rather be sick in a place I love, and hold dear to my heart, than to be sick inside a stuffy room, feeling claustrophobic. I try and look for the small things in life and let those keep me afloat on a daily basis. Things such as the sunshine, or how the wind rustles through my hair, or the birds singing. It is out in nature that I am able to find a certain peace. I let the little things in life bring me joy, despite the war raging inside my body. If I was trapped inside, I wouldn’t be able to experience these little joys and let them soothe my pain.

There is no doubt that I’m not the average backpacker. A few of my hiking partners that I’ve allowed to physically walk with me (I’m a solo hiker) have come to find out that backpacking is definitely not “easy” for me. In fact, it’s a grueling task, but I’d much rather be in pain out in nature, than in a town. I’m frequently stopped/brought to my knees because of sharp shooting pains. I often wobble and have to stop because my balance is off. Occasionally, my hiking poles become the same equivalent as crutches; they act like a friend’s shoulder, embracing me as I lean into them. Sometimes my hiking partners hear me let out a short gasp for air. They see the pain in my face as I keel over. I wait, and let the pain that has decided to make its appearance, pass.

My eyes frequently get blurry and I’ll get double vision, but when you’re out in nature it’s not that big of a problem. In the backcountry, I don’t have to stop and explain myself to the people who would see me if I were in town. In fact, I don’t have to explain myself to anyone when I hike, because I am a solo hiker. In town, when all my ailments and symptoms come on, I get weird looks and people are always asking me if I’m okay and what’s wrong with me. When I’m hiking I don’t have to reassure people or explain that these are daily occurrences because of the TBI. I have been living with these inconveniences for the past 7 years, and I’m not going to let them dictate how I live. Everyone has hiccups in life. It’s up to you to rise up and overcome these tribulations.

I hike to test myself both mentally and physically. I want to know exactly what I’m capable of, and then push myself further. I want to continue evolving as not only an athlete, but also as an individual. I want to experience life as it’s happening, instead of rushing by in a car or on a plane.

I want to stand on top of mountains knowing that I got myself there on my own two feet. There’s an incredible sense of accomplishment and belonging when you reach a summit. I get an overwhelming surge of happiness, because despite everything I’ve been through, I don’t let it hold me back.

I hike to live my own life, instead of one that has already been played out by countless others.

I hike to better understand my needs and wants. We live in a world that is constantly bombarding us to buy “stuff,” of which almost all of it is meaningless.

I hike to get a better understanding of the country I live in, and to see the raw, natural part of life that is so easily forgotten in our society.

I hike to experience freedom from technology. In today’s modern world we’re constantly plugged in. We have a multitude of media sources being streamed to us at all hours. We have Facebook, Twitter, the news, the radio, and countless other sources all feeding us an overbearing amount of information. It’s nice to be removed from all the “noise” and to focus strictly on the present.

I hike to be able to share my experiences with others who may not be able to get out there to see it themselves.

 I hike to meet people from all over the world and to gain a better understanding of my fellow neighbors.

I hike to develop lifelong friendships with people who share the same enthusiasm for nature as me.

I hike to let my imagination soar and to be open to new thoughts and ideas.

I hike to show others that we are capable of anything we set our mind to. Our dreams can become reality, all we have to do is believe in ourselves and maintain a positive outlook on life.

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It is my wish that everyone will take hold of their dreams. It doesn’t matter how big or small they may be. If it’s important to you, go for it! Don’t let anyone decide your life for you. If you believe it’s possible… it is.

Come May 1st I’ll start hiking North from Mexico to Canada. Follow your dreams and passions. I’ve had a lot of people ask how they can help, so I’ve set up this site…

http://www2.myregistry.com/public/Sara-Fry

I also handknit beanies and 100% of the profit goes towards my CDT Fund. You can find the hats under the “Shop” tab.