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I feel like the woods knew I had come to the end of my 52-week hiking challenge. The ferns are starting to brown and droop, green acorns are starting to fall, and the trail is already covered with a thin carpet of brown leaves. The crickets sound a little more tired and the cicadas are a little less insistent to be heard.

So I’m sitting here on my 49th birthday writing my 52nd blog post. And it feels amazing.

Week 52 Kirby In The StreamI spent a lot of time on this week’s hike reflecting back over the year that has played out since I started this crazy challenge. I’ve met brand new human beings fresh out of the womb and said goodbye to dear loved ones who have passed on to a better place. I’ve come to enjoy my job and the people I work with even more. I’ve met and coached some awesome men and women.

Most importantly, God. He showed up. He was with me through every tear and every laugh. Every struggle and every celebration. He showed love to me through my wonderful family and friends. He went with me on every hike and showed me beauty I will never forget.

He showed me things about myself…some bits I liked, some not so much. And He never gave up on me even when I know I didn’t act like the person He designed me to be.

He helped me actually use the coaching tools I’ve been writing about on myself. He helps me take my thoughts captive and I have been happier for it. I spend less time depressed or angry or upset and more time feeling peaceful.

I’m under no illusions that these blog posts have helped anyone more than me. It has been awesome writing them and having you all out there reading, responding, and encouraging me to keep going. If anything, they have helped me process my life out loud with you – the best group of friends and family a girl could ask for.Week 52 Trailhead

What’s next? Well, I’m definitely going to take a break for a bit, but I’m sure I’ll end up finding something I absolutely must write about sooner or later. I’m also working on a live online six-week discussion group on tools for self-coaching…look for an announcement about that later this fall.

For now, I’ll leave you with a link to a little movie I put together of all 52 pictures I took at the same spot over the last year…it’s the closest I could come to a time-lapse of the seasons moving through the woods I love to walk in. Paste the link into your browser and enjoy!

And get out there on the trail yourself one of these days…I know from experience there’s no better place to grab ahold of your thoughts, change your thinking, and change your life!

Week 52 Banner