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Hiking My Feelings + She Explores Podcast - SYDNEY: unfiltered.

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Hiking My Feelings + She Explores Podcast

Hiking saved my life. Can you relate?

I knew the Trans-Catalina Trail would be an adventure, but I didn’t know that choosing adventure would help me uncover the root of 12+ years of chaos in my mind and body.

If you’re new here, my name is Sydney and I am a diabetic adventurer, sexual assault survivor, and storyteller. I’d like to invite you to join the conversation around mental health and the outdoors.

I had a chance to sit down with Gale of the She Explores Podcast and tell the story of how two hikes across Catalina Island helped me strip away everything I’m not in order to find out who I am.

I’d love for you to have a listen and then come back here and let me know what you think!

For the uninitiated, She Explores creates and curates thoughtful, emotion-driven stories for women of all backgrounds who are inspired by time spent outside and en route. These stories take the shape of two award-winning podcasts, digital editorial content complemented by compelling visuals, and social media.

She Explores podcast features the every day, the extraordinary, and the formative through the lens of outdoor experiences. Hosted weekly on Wednesdays by Gale Straub.

In this episode you’ll hear:

– How I hiked the Trans-Catalina Trail in Southern California two times: the first time it was the hardest thing physically, the second it was the hardest emotionally
– Why a diagnosis of Type II diabetes was the best thing that ever happened to me
– The four things I learned to manage when monitoring my blood sugar
– Why stress can be so hard to regulate
– How I started hiking my feelings rather than eating and drinking my feelings
– What was revealed to me about my past trauma on the trail
– How hiking has helped me own my story
– Why I am going on a speaking tour in southern California to share my experience and where you can hear me talk
– The lost potential of women due to sexual violence
– How the outdoors helped me coax healing from the trauma I carried

I love how Gale is able to hold space for difficult conversations, and the whole time we were chatting, I felt completely at ease and safe as I shared. 

We aren’t doing anyone any favors by carrying this trauma by ourselves. Let’s get free!



“The first hike was the hardest thing I’ve ever done physically. The second one was the hardest thing I’ve ever done emotionally. Put the two together and I realized that once I started addressing my mental health and started healing my old trauma, my body started to take care of itself.”

“I was releasing the weight of expectations that are placed on women from the second we can hear words and from the second we can talk to ourselves. Because I’ve had this soundtrack in my mind for forever that’s been telling me I’m not enough, I’m too much of this… you know, all the things that we hear and we internalize.”

“That soundtrack in the back of my mind – when that was gone, I was able to clear away all the other crap and really get to the root of this problem that I had been dealing with for 12 years. I couldn’t do that in the gym. I couldn’t do that in my house. I couldn’t do it on my paddle board. The trail was where it happened. I didn’t have anything else in my way to be able to address that trauma. Finally.”


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