Blood Sweat Tears BOOK LAUNCH

“I was weary of the trail, but captivated by it; grew tired of the boundless woods but admired their boundlessness; enjoyed the escape from civilization and ached for its comforts.” -Bill Bryson


Over the past few months I have had the privilege of watching a book come to life–and seeing my name published in the pages of it.

Whew!

Late last year an essay I’d written about my experience hiking 100 hikes during 2020 was selected to be part of a collection of work about the experience of existing in a female body in the outdoors. At the time my piece was nothing but a patchwork of blog posts I had clumped together into a word document that would, I’d hoped, be at least somewhat coherent.

Through multiple rounds of edits and deeply helpful advice from Christine, the brains behind this project and the Rugged Outdoorswoman community leader, my words were finessed into an essay that I am fully proud of.

Words from Christine on getting this project off the ground:

“When I had the idea for this short story collection, I had no doubt that it needed to happen. I hoped that I might receive enough submissions to fill a book with 15-18 stories, that there might be a small, but mighty, group of women+ out there willing to share their body on trail stories. I was overwhelmed by nearly 200 story submissions. They ranged from funny to sweet to sad to beautiful to powerful to painfully relatable. I loved every single one of them. Then I chose the 25 that most exemplified the power of the female-bodied trail experience and created this book. I hope that you will read them and love them and perhaps relate to them or even learn from them.”

Titled “Nothing To Do But Go”, my piece outlines the mental, physical, and spiritual toll that year took on me. How in the hell does someone take 100 hikes in a year–and during a pandemic to boot? I honestly still don’t know. Perhaps rereading my essay will reveal new answers to old questions in the way only the voices of our past selves can.

An excerpt:

“Nature had become a potent salve for the wounds of young adulthood. I had discovered the unbridled freedom of exploring, the confidence that came from navigating the challenges of the trail with only my pup, Charlie, by my side, and a sense of optimism that had long been overshadowed by grief. The mental fog began to lift—and stay lifted—once the outdoors became a consistent part of my life.

On January 1, 2020, I had water, snacks, and a list of possible places to visit. I grabbed Charlie’s leash and slid on my hiking boots.

There was nothing to do but go.”

The essays in this collection sing with vulnerability, courage, and heart. The words of wild women flow freely through these pages. Blood Sweat Tears is a humble ode to life on the trail, to the female body, and to the wisdom found therein. 

You can now order a special copy directly from me signed by both Charlie and myself! Each book comes with a Blood Sweat Tears bookmark and sticker with the cover artwork on them. 

 

Thank you Christine for tackling such a massive project, and thank you to all of the adventurous authors who are part of it. An incredible amount of love was poured into making this book a reality. Check out their author bios to meet these lovely women and learn about the varied life experiences that brought them to the trail (and beyond).

I owe this accomplishment to the scared and weary woman I was when I hiked those 100 hikes. I am deeply grateful for her to pave the way for the woman I am now to finally feel brave enough to step out and share this story with you.

Love, 
Jenn (and Charlie)

PS: I’ve compiled photos from many of those hikes into a special post of their own to serve as a visual companion to my essay. Journey through the seasons with Charlie and I as we look back over that life-changing year.

Link to 100 Hikes Blog Post

PSS: Rugged Outdoorswoman Publishing is now accepting manuscripts! With the intention to elevate the stories of women and gender-expansive individuals in the outdoor adventure community, ROP is helping give a voice to historically marginalized individuals one story at a time. You can inquire further and submit your outdoor adventure writing here.

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