Tracy’s Story…Pt. I

When an old friend of mine had nominated her mom as someone for my Inspirational Women series, I was excited.  Little did I know at the time what an inspirational story this was to be.  So much so, that I’ve decided to do a three part series in the life of Tracy Carney.


Mrs. Tracy Carney, of Danville, PA is a hope-filled, adventurous, and loving Grandma. She’s been blessed this past year with two new granddaughters. Every life is precious and Tracy doesn’t take that for granted.  At a very dark point in her life, Tracy almost lost her existence to suicide.  Every day she’s grateful to God to be alive and to see this next generation as she holds, rocks, and plays with these great and new little people. Success for her is living a simple life of gratitude, loving God, her family and others.

Her biggest passion, aside from her family, is hiking.  She loves to hike!  Along with section hiking the AT, she hikes monthly with her 9 F Troop sisters. These foxy forest mamas have navigated menopause, empty nests, grand mothering and many other events that this season of life brings. Tracy states, “We jokingly refer to ourselves as the “Hot Flash Sisters. “ The trail became their common ground, sanctuary and playground.  Being intrigued about these wild Bettys, Tracy has further elaborated:  We have a hiking date on our calendars every month throughout the year. Their friendship has brought me out of the isolation created by clinical depression and hospitalizations. Their faith in God, and in me, continue to be a constant source of hope and inspiration.

Tracy loves her job as a Senior Recovery Specialist.  She states that she doesn’t love the school of hard knocks it took to get to it.  I have to disagree with her on this as I believe we’re all destined for a journey.  It’s the choices we make at each crossroad that make us the people we are.  Tracy went through hell, but it’s made her the strong, loving, empathetic woman she is today.  Perfect example of her bravery is her response as to what scares her:  Nothing really scares me, I have already lived through scary.

Her recent excursion was a 9 day hike on the AT in Virginia. It rained every day! “It’s true what they say, a rainy day on the trail is better than any day in the office”, says Tracy.  This woman has been faced with some situations that would make the toughest Navy Seal cower in surrender, but her biggest regret would have been not completing her 2,190 mile Appalachian Trail Hike.  The fortitude and perseverance it takes for an individual to complete the AT is daunting.  You don’t just decide to go, it takes planning, wits, and a healthy attitude.  Constantly pursuing at fulfilling her dreams, she’s always planning the next hike and sharing her hope with others.

Her inspiration on the trail isn’t the only hope she looks to spread.  Her proudest moment that relates to her biggest trial in life was this:  I had the opportunity to share my recovery story and share about hiking the AT at a mental health recovery conference with over 200 people in attendance in Pittsburgh, Pa. It was a surreal experience for me to be standing in a grand ballroom with people interested in what I had to say, when just a few years earlier I was a forgotten mental patient on the back ward  of a State Psychiatric  Hospital…I am most proud of my family. They walked this journey with me and continued to love me. They didn’t give up on me and I am so glad I didn’t give up on life.

Tracy is content these days, living the life she’s dreamed of.  Although she still faces the challenge of dealing with her negative self-talk, which is a hard habit to break.  No one is perfect and our own individual lives are far from perfection.  The best we can do is live the best way we can.  If Tracy were someone’s life coach, this is what she would say:  I would tell them there is always hope. God has a future and a plan for your life. Stay focused on your strengths, discover what makes your heart sing, embrace change and never give up.


Fun and Furious questions:

  1. If you could do it all over again, would you change anything? If I could do it all over, I would want my children to find a supportive place/person to talk to about the challenges of having a Mom with a mental illness.
  2. How old would you be, if you didn’t know how old you are? 30
  3. What activity makes you lose track of time? Hike
  4. Best cheat indulgence? It’s a toss-up – chocolate & coffee
  5. If you could only speak one word today, what would it be? Hope


Read more about Tracy Carney in Tracy’s Story…Pt. II


Much love and Aloha,

your clueless wanderer

Ali Richwine had contacted me shortly after I had advertised seeking inspiring women to spotlight. We conspired to have this particular spotlight become a from-the-heart Christmas gift to a woman that’s been through so much, yet has instilled such loving virtues, compassionate dynamics, and become a pillar of tenacity to others around her. She never gave up and now she’s inspiring others never to give up either.  This spotlight blog is an adoring daughter’s dedication to her mother on this Christmas Day, 2016…

     As you have supported me in my own life’s journey, know that I have been inspired by yours.             Hike on, Momma!  xoxo, Ali





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