A True Hiking Warrior

Sheri-Nork-w-TJMany years ago, on a calm Summer’s morning, I was enjoying a peaceful ride on my motorcycle…ahh.  Suddenly, a careless utility truck driver ran his red light.  By that afternoon, I had died…twice.  Surgeons told my hubby I would not survive.  After awakening from my coma, I could not move my body.  I could not speak.  I could not smell or taste.  I had double vision.  I was also told I would never walk again.  Only after years of physical therapy could I walk (barely) unassisted. I was then solely responsible for my health.  However, I struggled with self-discipline; I needed help.  I was rescued at a fitness resort in Malibu, California.  This is where I first smiled with TJ.

TJ just returned from backpacking & hiking Kilimanjaro; she resumed her lead hiking position at this Malibu fitness resort.  She selected to be ‘sweep’ (the last hiking guide in line) in the morning 2 hour, hiking group in which I was placed.  I was unsurprisingly the caboose in this group.  I asked TJ what her next conquest would be. TJ’s spirit energetically lit up telling me about Machu Picchu, Peru.  In practically her first sentence, she invited me on this epic conquest!  Me?  Yep, me.  Doggie, what did this ultimate hiking adventurist see in me?

Sheri-Nork-w-Nikki+guideI was now in Peru with fabulous ‘peeps’!  Knowing my limitations, TJ hired me my own guide and also my own porter to carry my backpack for this 4-day hiking adventure.  I also enjoyed the spirit of another Malibu hiking guide, Nikki.  She did not need to keep my putt putt pace, but she stayed with me.  We even tented together!  Whoa…I was immersed in many great, unselfish experiences of kindness.  During this Peruvian trek, non-English speaking hikers stopped me to take pictures with me.  Many, many more joyous tales I could recite about trekking to Machu Picchu; my heart does beat stronger now.  Thank you TJ.

Tami Note: Sheri is the most inspirational person I have ever met. During our hike to Machu Picchu, she was the super hero for the entire group. Anytime we felt tired, we thought of everything Sheri had to overcome to be on the trail. I’ve never heard Sheri complain or give up. I strive every day to be like her on the trail!

Photos by TJ Jerome.