“Many comments from other hikers—even something seemingly innocuous like “You’re doing a great job!”—are meant to be supportive and encouraging, but they don’t always come off that way. These comments are, sometimes indirectly, about our bodies. An othering is happening. There is surprise about our abilities, concern about what may be interpreted as lack of ability, and sometimes straight-up rudeness. Many people I talked to expressed having moments where they were treated as if they were in the way of another hiker. These interactions don’t allow us to simply be hikers on a trail.”
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