Taking Her Faith on The Trail

Sarah Ann Legg

Photo by Ali Barqawi

Photo by Ali Barqawi

  • Charlotte, NC born and raised moved to Augusta, GA in December of 2018

  • UNCC grad: BA in Biology 

  • Work: train/exercise horses in Aiken SC and sell painted portraits

  • I’m very active and outdoorsy. Hiking, backpacking, kayaking, biking, running, yoga, etc.

  • No specific training... but I mean.. un poco de español

Her Story

Growing up I’d say I was pretty well rounded. I was into horses, my dad had us hiking and backpacking, I was always running amuck in the neighborhood. I felt like I had everything together. Later down the road, I really put my focus into riding horses. It became my life, who I was, and I really let it define me. I started getting a little bit too deep into the sport, and everything that came with it. I found myself being so hard on myself, and very self critical. I got competitive and let the little things get to me. I got so far down into this hole that I lost contact with friends- and not only my friends on earth, but also with The Lord.  I was obsessed with this part of my life, and was letting it get the best of me.

[Fortunately] down the road, in 2017, I got thrown from a horse and tore my MCL. This is when my life changed completely. 

I couldn’t ride, I could barely do anything during the first month of this mishap. It forced me to search for something else to fill the void. I was depressed and getting a little stir-crazy from being stuck inside until physical therapy started.  Something had to change. 

That’s when I found hiking again. It was the best therapy for such an injury. Low impact, strength training. My body needed it and I knew I loved it. Not only did this love of hiking resurface, but it opened my mind and soul to what I actually needed. I needed full on Jesus back in my life, I needed to find love and clarity all over again. 

Here I am in 2019- making my way back to the person I’m meant to be. I’m learning everyday how to balance love, life and light, and I couldn’t be happier! I have the best people around me. Friends. Family. The best dogs around. And of course, my amazing boyfriend, Brandon. He has always been so supportive and encouraging of me pursuing my passion for hiking- even when that means I have to be on the other side of the world. Really, I’m just doing my best to live life to the fullest and I’m loving every part of it! Although it was difficult at the time, I couldn’t thank The Lord more for my accident. It’s what made me who I am.

What are you doing now? 

I am currently on the Jordan Trail hiking Northbound! In the Middle East, you can find the Jordan Trail that is 650km long passing through 52 different villages and towns! It spans from Aqaba, where you can find the Red Sea, past Petra and up to Um Quais. This trail takes you through every ecosystem you can imagine, and this is why this trail holds my heart. The Jordan Trail takes you through deserts, wadis, rolling hills and even beautiful village roads.  In every village we passed through, we got the honor of meeting the locals and being welcomed in by them. They served so much amazing food and treated us with incredible hospitality.


What is life on the trail like? 

Ya know, it’s a lot different than I expected-although I didn’t really come in with any expectations. I knew it would be a great time to think on life, the future, where I am now and where I see myself later, but I didn’t realize it would be THIS mentally challenging. It’s nothing that the trail has done, in fact, the trail has been NOTHING but good to me (except for a rough round of sickness near the end.) I have been spiritually tested like I’ve never been before, and it hasn’t been easy, but BOY has it opened my heart to more growth. Trails just do that ya know? Of all the trails I’ve hiked, they have one thing in common- they always surprise you. 

How does the Jordan Trail compare to other long hikes you've done? 

It’s really hard to compare it to the AT (Appalachian Trail) because they are both so beautiful in their own ways. I will say though, that the people of Jordan, and the country as a whole, value respect a lot more than any other place I’ve been. The locals here are always wanting to serve and they have a way of making you feel so incredibly welcome. It’s not like that doesn’t exist in the states, but I will say...the love here is more genuine than anything I’ve felt elsewhere. And I will stand by that. It’s such a sacred place. I really feel like I have a spiritual connection to this place, and that feels like the biggest difference.

What have been some of the hardest or best parts of your journey?

I’m going to be raw and honest like always. I hope I don’t offend anyone. But I’d say the hardest was the mental aspect of the trail. It was more the people I hiked with/am hiking with.  There’s a lot of negativity in the group which doesn’t sit well with me at all. I try my hardest to be the light in the dark, but it so easily gets smothered. It’s also hard to not let this negative aspect of the trail take over the positive. That’s when I had to teach myself to separate my mind. You’re allowed to do what you need to grow. And separation during certain times is what I needed to heal and grow, and it’s what allowed me to focus on the positive aspects more.

There are so many LOVELY humans in this group, who I connect with on such a spiritual level. They are full of life and want the same journey as I do, as I guess we all do to some level.  The trail not only provides these relationships, but everyday it provides such a show!! The ecosystem and terrain change SO much from day to day it’s really so mind blowing. I love this trail. I love love love it. From sea to desert to forest. 


What's your favorite part about long distance hikes? 

I love long distance hikes because it gives you the time to really dive into nature as therapy. It gives you the space and time needed to find a clear mind. 

It allows you to connect with so many people from all around the world. It is an honor to hear their stories, and to gain something or learn from them. 

Everything is my favorite about long distance hikes!! This one is a hard question. Haha


What advice would you give to someone who is interested in doing what you do? 

If you want it, fight for it. Work for it. But never ever ever ever ever be anyone but yourself. Be raw. Be you. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in this crazy world, and to change who you really are. Being you is special, there’s not another you!

Also. Learn how to be your own best friend. Point blank. 


How has your faith influenced the decisions you've made and the way you live your life? 

My life revolves around my faith. The love and forgiveness of Christ has gotten me through more than you will ever know. Trusting in Him has given me pure peace in my life. I mean, what’s better than living a life of love, light and peace of mind?? God has got your back. He is for you, not against you. You need only to be still! This is something that I always come back to when I’m on the trail.

Photo by Thomas Gathman

Photo by Thomas Gathman

Photo by Thomas Gathman

Photo by Thomas Gathman

Photo by Brandon Arant

Photo by Brandon Arant

 

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