Hiking adds clarity, adventure to life

At the University of Chicago, Ginny Too was “the Asian girl with glasses hanging out at the library.” She was neither athletic nor outdoorsy. “It was never part of my upbringing,” she says.

How things have changed. Too, now 34, has climbed three challenging mountains: Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Cotopaxi in Ecuador, and Mount Whitney in California.

More impressive, the “geek” who graduated Phi Beta Kappa has hiked the entire length of the Appalachian Trail and, for good measure, America’s two other long-distance trails, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. Earlier this fall, she was honored for completing the so-called “Triple Crown” by the American Long Distance Hiking Association – West. She is in elite company; only 233 hikers have had the stamina and perseverance to accomplish the 8,000-mile feat.

Her adventures have convinced Too of the importance of taking chances and risks. She has also become more appreciative of her fellow travelers, both on the trail and in life.

“Whenever I saw people on the trail, I would stop and take the time to hear their stories. I came to appreciate the value of interacting with people I may never see again. I try to talk to people more now and to have meaningful conversations.”

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