Lagniappe - Cheryl Suchors, 48 Peaks—Hiking and Healing in the Mountains — August 13, 2019
Cheryl Suchors, Author 48 Peaks-Hiking and Healing in the Mountains
At forty-eight years old, Cheryl Suchors―hoping to find concrete successes and a feeling of control as she changes careers and fifty stares at her from the horizon―vows to summit the highest forty-eight peaks in New Hampshire’s grueling White Mountains. Neglecting to consider her flimsy body, scoliosis, bum knee, and fear of heights, she dives into the challenge.
Along the way, Suchors suffers numerous injuries; her hiking buddy succumbs to ovarian cancer; and she endures breast cancer, a mastectomy, chemotherapy, and five years of adjuvant therapy herself. But she always returns to the mountains―and in that connection she finds spiritual nourishment, as well as a space powerful enough to hold her grief. Over the ten years it takes her to complete her quest, she learns that mastery alone doesn’t satisfy her and control is often an illusion―that she must connect with hiking comrades and with nature in order to feel nourished and enriched. In the end, Suchors creates her own definition of success.