For the past two months my mind has been on Wild, by Cheryl Strayed. The Heart of Florida United Way Women’s Leadership Council had Ms. Strayed speak at their luncheon at the end of February. In anticipation for the event, I listened to her book via Audible.
Win #1 – The Book
Cheryl enters the Pacific Crest Trail a hot mess, hikes 1,100 miles, and leaves it knowing herself better and able to move forward with her life. While she had a bit more struggles and angst than I have had in my own life, I appreciated the self-reflection and self-actualization she achieved. I was impressed by her sophistication of her love of books and her dedication to certain authors. And she really did become the Queen of the PCT. It was a great “read.”
Win #2 – The Luncheon
There were 1,100 men and women (well, about twenty men) at the luncheon that day. I knew a good handful of the women and were excited to get their perspective of Ms. Strayed since they had not read the book. She gave a great keynote speech that summarized her experience hiking the PCT and how it shaped the rest of her life to have her end up here. My friends’ reviews consisted of “I need to read that book NOW,” to “How can I get my hands on that movie? When does it come out on DVD?”
Win #3 – The Movie
The movie was released digitally last week. So of course, my Bestie let me invite over eight smart and sassy Fems to his house to celebrate our Femfessionals Orlando three-year anniversary, have a healthy catered dinner from the Green Day Cafe, indulge in 3-Buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s and in a delightful Gluten-free vegan blackberry and lemon poppy-seed with maple pecan stuffing, vanilla frosted cake from the Raphsodic Bakery, and watch the movie starring Reese Witherspoon.
Because it is a biography, a lot of the dialogue was in the mind of Cheryl – her hopes, her fears, her reflections. While the movie showed a few of her relationships she developed while hiking the PCT, the girls that read the book first added some color to the movie, filling in some stories where we could. The movie could stand on it’s own though, without our extra stories. It’s definitely uplifting (eventually once you get through the hot mess) and worth a look. But having the book knowledge while watching was very rewarding.
So read the book. Watch the movie. And then hope that Cheryl Strayed visits your community. Or get her there yourself. Because you can do anything you set your mind to; just like hiking the PCT.