The Lightest Tread Podcast Episode 2: Zelzin Aketzalli.

The first Mexican ever to complete the triple crown of thru-hiking shares her remarkable story.

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Zelzin Aketzalli is the first Mexican person to complete the Triple Crown of thru-hiking, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, the Appalachian Trail and the Continental Divide Trail, for a combined total of more than 7000 miles of hiking. 

We first met Zelzin in May 2021 when she started using our Active Thick with Met Pad footbeds to recover from a severe metatarsal injury. After meeting to hear more of her story, we were blown away by her incredible life-long dedication to making something more of her life than the people around her pictured possible. 

Zelzin embarked on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2017 never having camped for more than one night, and not speaking any English. Her bravery in the face of the unknown and her refusal to allow small fears to get in the way of big dreams could be an example to us all. 

Notes:

Keep up with Zelzin and find details on her May 17th conference, via her instagram.

Early in the show Zelzin gives generous praise to our feature on her, which you can read here.

The Reese Witherspoon film referenced from around 42:00 is called Wild, not 'The Wild'. It's based on the book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Repeatedly in the show Zelzin references the PCT — an acronym for the Pacific Crest Trail.

Timestamps 

00:00 Intro 

02:15 What is the Triple Crown 

06:00 First experience camping more than 2 days was on the PCT 

09:15 The biggest challenge: learning English 

12:00 Don't let small fears disrupt big dreams 

15:30 How Life in Mexico prepared Zelzin for thru-hiking 

20:00 The crucial role of life-long dedication to sport 

24:30 The safety of the wilderness and threat of humanity 

29:30 How her cultural background helped her interact and learn English 

37:00 Hiking up to 30 miles per day 

42:30 The inspiration of the film, Wild 

47:00 The importance of appropriate gear 

48:44 Using SOLE to care for her body 

50:00 The learning experience of a serious injury 

56:00 Helping other Latin American people be self sufficient in the outdoors 

01:00:00 The joy of being motivational support and helping others do more than they thought they could.