In this very candid book, author Debbie Wood, a mom, grandmother, avid hiker and serial entrepreneur shares her deeply personal journey from the life that was “supposed” to make her happy to the life that truly does. In a word, this book is all about “change.”
The First Mile is the Hardest is equal parts memoir, tell-all, self-help guide and reader journal structured as seven engaging, user-friendly Lessons.
Each Lesson begins with a Trail Tale from Debbie’s hiking life that illuminates the theme of the Lesson and corresponds to a circumstance in Debbie’s life that she very much wants to overcome. With the trail as her teacher, Debbie finds the life parallel, applies what she’s learned hiking and transforms her situation. Then, via Journal Exercises at the end of each Lesson, she invites the reader to pick up their pen and do the same. As the book progresses, the Lessons build on each other and the reader is on their own journey with Debbie out on trail just ahead, leading the way.
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The reader learns that Debbie’s old life was marked by tragedy–her sister’s suicide, her parent’s early deaths, her husband’s abrupt abandonment, five-figure debt and a deep unhappiness with her circumstances. Then she found hiking (or hiking found her) and her life changed dramatically. The hikes Debbie undertook transformed her sense of self and her way of thinking; the trail literally became her teacher, no matter how challenging the miles became.