Thursday, March 18, 2021

Hidden Creek Green Trail Gaithersburg, MD #50FirstHikes


Only 49 more, that's all. The optimism of ONLY 49 to go is such a trainer thing to say.

Today's hike was a good but unexpected one. Why unexpected Tikima? Alexis and I thought we were going to another trail and Alltrails dropped us off at Hidden Green Trail instead. Being the just go with the flow type of people we are, we decided to try this trail out. Besides, it was new-to-us trail and that was one of the two rules for the #50FirstHikes challenge remember? 


Hidden Creek Green Trail Gaithersburg MD, USA  


Hidden Creek Trail is tightly nestled in the middle of a neighborhood. Based on the route you take it has an equal mixture of paved and natural surfaces. We normally do not start a hike without a plan but this hike was an exception since we planned for a different trail. Therefore, we winged the 2.36 miles hiked. 


This was a relatively easy hike. 1 out of 10


  • I would like to consider this a neighborhood trail hence it being a "trash-free" trail. There are no trash cans available. In order to protect the wildlife, visitors, and keep the trail beautiful, what garbage you bring in you must take with you. I like to follow the Leave No Trace guidelines whenever I go hiking. 
  • We parked in a local neighborhood and we did not come across any trouble. Please read street signage prior to parking, you don't want to park in someone's residential parking spot. 
  • Local public trails normally do not charge for use. Therefore there weren't any admission fees. 
  • The WiFi service was great. We had service our entire hike. 


The first week of January + being on the east coast = COLD AF!! 

I feel like this entire blog I feel the need to remind you that I am originally from California. So you can understand when I say, cold weather is not flattering on me. This Sunday afternoon was cold but not unbearable with the help of my trusty NorthFace TriClimate Waterproof Jacket. I love that I could remove the inner fleece if the weather changes while on my hike.


BETTER GLOVES!! I have been eyeing some WhitePaw RunMitts and I think it is time to put my order in. I brought my daughter's gloves with me because mine was in the washing machine. Want to hear more about WhitePaw RunMitts? My podcast Fit Black Queens had the opportunity to interview the inventor of these great mittens. 


Who doesn't like a discovery? I love a great find, especially during a hike. While hiking, Alexis and I stumbled across an old, graffiti-covered dam. Can we say cool? I was able to test out my strong knees with a SQUAT!!


There really was not a difficult part of this hike. It was accessible for many and quite fun. 


The land we hiked today was of the Piscataway Conoy Tribe. The Piscataway Conoy Tribe was prominent throughout Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC.  It was enlightening to learn about the tribe's history. From their first European encounter in 1608 to Maryland's Governor Martin O'Malley reestablishing government-to-government relations by granting "State Recognition of the Piscataway Conoy Tribe" in 2012. 

America's past of disenfranchising people of color is painful but it is up to us to know our past. I encourage you to learn more about the Piscataway Conoy Tribe.


This hike was fun. We began late afternoon and ended just before sunset. I visit Gaithersburg, MD frequently and never knew this trail was there. This hike challenged my idea of a hike. I was starting to think that a hike must be in a state park, mountain, or something that was densely packed with luscious greenery. This hike reminded me that it does not have to strenuous. 

I lived in Maryland when Governor Martin O'Malley granted state recognition of the Piscataway Conoy Tribe. I am grateful to learn more about the Piscataway Conoy Tribe. 


Don't get mad but I don't think I can rate this trail. Sorry!  I can say that this trail is great for beginners and pretty accessible for everyone. 

Stay tuned for more hikes and recaps. Alexis and I will post our adventures on our Instagram page. If you are participating in the #50FirstHikes challenge, I would love to hear about your hikes! 

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. While clicking these links won't cost you any extra money, they will help me keep this site up and running! 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

2021 Challenge: 50 FIRST HIKES

I love to set a challenge for myself at the top of the year. I DO NOT like to call it a New Year's resolution because for some strange reason I never complete it with that label. How many of you can relate? I have a ton of personal goals but I like to always incorporate a challenge involving my friends when writing out goals. 2020 the challenge was to complete a triathlon and this year... my goal for 2021 is... drumroll please...


My homie Alexis and I challenged ourselves to hike 50 new-to-us trails in 2021. Exciting right? We, know. Do you just love it when you and your friends share the same love for outdoor activities?  Anywho, to accomplish our goal, we must hike roughly one trail weekly. I have lived in the Washington Metropolitan Area for years now, I can honestly say I have not explored our local trails as much as I would like. #50FirstHikes is a way to do just that and be #blackandoutdoorsy of course. 


I am a person who does not like restrictions but they are needed in order to not have this challenge become the Wild Wild West of hiking. There are two main rules for the #50FirstHike challenge:

  1. The trail must be new-to-me. Finding a new trail for each hike is exciting but will become difficult as we hike more. That is why we are using the book 60 HIkes within 60 miles: Washington DC,  All Trails, and local websites to plan our hikes. 
  2. Have fun and explore. Have you met a person who is extremely intense? They think that challenges must be extremely difficult and the joy factor must be 2 out of 10. Well, they can participate but they will not be on my team! I just want to have fun, smell the fresh air, and hang out with my homies. 

Simple right? 


This is a great question. Alexis once hiked with Black Girls Trekkin' in Los Angeles California and they began their hike with a land acknowledgment. I am going, to be honest, I never thought of doing this before. Now that I know, acknowledging the indigenous people who were forced to leave their land seems like a no-brainer right? Now that we know, we will begin each hike with a land dedication. America has such a gut-wrenching history with uprooting humans from their land/homes and it's my duty to learn more about our painful past. I would share as much information as I could. 


Don't fret. Not only would I share on my Instagram, but I also plan to write a blog post recapping each hike. Super stoked to share my adventures with you. 


Grab ya' kids, grab ya' wife because this challenge is for everyone. Just consult your physician prior to hitting the trails. When you start your challenge, give us a shoutout on the 50 First Hikes Instagram page. We would love to learn more about your hiking adventures. 

I hope #50FirstHikes encourages you to get out and explore your local trails. If you never hiked before and want to know what to bring? I got a blog post for you homie. Check out Beginner's Guide to Hiking. I mentioned the organization, Black Girls Trekkin'? Listen to the Fit Black Queens Podcast where we interviewed Black Girls Trekkin' click  HERE


Tikima Renee

Wednesday, March 10, 2021


10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1 HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! 

I brought 2020 in a little different, with one of my clients instead of the typical family celebration. We set our intentions for 2020, sip champagne, and danced the Bachata until our hearts were content. While walking to our cars, she looked at me and screamed "2020 is going to be the best year yet!!!!" December 31, 2020, I received a call from my client.  Before I said Hello she screamed

"You remember when I said 2020 was going to be the best year yet? I LIED" 

We both laughed. 2020 has been a difficult time for us all, but at the end of the day, all we can do is laugh and keep moving forward. 

Even though there were known cases of Covid-19 in other countries dating back to November 2019. Since the WHO (World Health Organization, not the band. Get it together people) declared Covid-19 as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. 

 The pandemic has been extremely hard on us all. Here are five things I have learned during the pandemic: 


When the pandemic first started, I truly believed taking a break was a physical act. I was surprised to learn it is not, it is much more than that. I was accustomed to working multiple jobs, being a full-time mom while being a part-time employee of Hustle Culture USA. My body needed recovery but my mind desperately needed the 365 days, 8,760 hours, and  525,600 minutes received. I was reclaiming my time for all the years I felt forced to be okay when I was not. By the way, I am not done. For me taking a break was sitting with myself clearing out the mental clutter and chatter.  I wish it did not take a devastating pandemic to force me to take a break. 


Tikima and her 90 year old grandmother holding flowers

In the past year, I learned a lot about loss and grief. I am no stranger to either but I am a stranger to dealing with it in a healthy way. I was forced to grieve the loss of clients, income, financial opportunities, relationships, and most importantly loved ones. In the past, dealing with loss and grief I would fixate on the problem, binge eat, and/or shut down. 

This past year held a mirror to my unhealthy habits. I was forced to deal with my grief and loss. January 2021, I was put to the ultimate test, my grandmother passed. I fell into old habits at first but was able to recognize my behavior and correct it. I surprisingly found myself at peace with her passing.  I was at peace because she lived a glorious 90 years, made me laugh and smile for 33 years, and got to meet the love of my life, my daughter. I know I would have moments of sadness and pain, they are expected but peace is the ultimate feeling. The peace I felt of her leaving this world got me thinking. If I could be at peace with the transition of someone that meant so much to me why can I not for these material things? I will stay optimistic because I will have them again. Loss is inevitable, it's hard emotionally, but it is also emotional growth. Stay optimistic homies. 


I grew up in an environment where humility and loyalty were demanded. Be proud but not too proud and ALWAYS be there for the people who were there for you. 

Humility and loyalty were never explained to me as a child. I had (and still have) so many questions. When do you take a break from being humble and celebrate your accomplishments? Can you be humble and celebrate at the same time?  When do you cut people and things off? When does loyalty expire? My upbringing has forced me to doubt myself so often that I shut down.  Notice a trend of me shutting down? I vowed to celebrate myself in the way I felt necessary for the rest of my life. 

In 2020, I had some losses but I also had some amazing wins. I was nervous to share them knowing others were going through hard times or suffering. It was extremely uncomfortable for me. I never want to be perceived as a person who brags about their accomplishments but when do I get a moment to celebrate? I may be late but I am not sorry. Here are a few things I accomplished during the first 365 days of the pandemic. 

  • Learned how to dance the Flamenco and Tahitian dance. I am not a pro but I am proficient in the basics. 
  • Began a hiking challenge 
  • I got certified in the following fitness formats: TRX, Barre, Yoga (200 HR), and HIIT. 
  • I am currently learning how to skateboard.
  • Started to love me again. 

Whew, happy to get that off of my chest. Celebrate Yo'Self!

I am able to celebrate my wins by shedding the ideologies of my upbringing. One of those ideologies is loyalty. Everyone and everything does not deserve your loyalty. CUT PEOPLE OFF!!! Creating boundaries is extremely difficult but rewarding. I started creating boundaries P.C (pre-covid) but hone in on my skills this past year. Tip of the day: recognizing when situations no longer serve you is a gift. 


Growing up my grandmother would say when someone shows you their true colors believe them. As a kid, I was extremely literal and sometimes thought what colors will people show me? Years later, I realized what she truly meant. 

I was 33 years old when I began implementing this advice into my life. FUN FACT: I'm 33 years old writing this. Therefore, I am just grasping this concept. I had a habit that when people were mean to me I would return the favor. I had to ask myself WHY? No, seriously why? It's not worth it.

Michelle Obama says when they go low, we go high. My uncle Charles says when they go low, we go even lower! Please take advice from Michelle Obama NOT my uncle Charles. lol


For the last year, there has been a lot of one-sided conversations that have been going on in my head. These conversations often highlighted more of my shortfalls rather than my successes. 

Why did I say that? Why am I not doing enough? You are not good enough. Etc, etc. 

A lot of defeating negative self-talking has been happening in this noggin. The pandemic forced me to take an assessment of what I was saying to myself. I learned that I would NEVER speak to another as poorly as I spoke to myself. Taking account of the everyday negative self-talk was eye-opening because I had to come to the realization that I was holding myself back from doing things I wanted to do. I knew I had to GET OUT OF MY OWN HEAD. 

Initially, I wanted a quick fix. I thought my weekly therapy sessions would be all I need to feel better. The tricky thing with therapy is, you have to do the work to get better. Ain't Nobody Got Time For Dat! 

I have to actively silence the self-doubt and negative self-talk by saying something nice about myself or acknowledge something I have recently accomplished out loud. It is hard Homies but I am trying. Journaling, movement, friends, and family have been other tools I have used this past year to get out of my head. Releasing our feelings, emotions, and ideas in productive ways is necessary for our mental health. 

Whew Chile, can we get a soul clap for making it an entire year? You made it, it's time to CELEBRATE! 


I hope you learned a little about me. What have you learned during the pandemic? Does any of the lessons I have learned resonate with you? Or do you think "you should have learned these lessons a long time ago"?  Either way, I would love to hear what you have to say. 

Allow yourself grace. 


Tikima Renee  

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Thursday, March 4, 2021


Growing up in Los Angeles California, I can honestly say I am very much a city girl (I still am in some regards). The hustle and bustle of city life were all I knew. The traffic, air pollution, the constant noise of everyday life was part of the norm. That all changed my summer leading into my freshmen year in high school. I attended a Christian camp in Big Bear California. 

At this camp, I experienced nature in a way I never thought I would. I smelled a different type of air, I dipped my toes in a lake, and lastly, I saw stars for the VERY FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE! I always knew that the life I lived was not for me but this experience in Big Bear California solidified that thought. So when I got the chance to move to Maryland for a better opportunity, I screamed PEACE OUT HOMIES!!

Moving to Maryland my dreams of being an outdoor enthusiast did not transpire the way I expected. It took years. I needed to shed some negative ideas of people of color and nature. 

I regurgitated false information about black people and nature so much that I believed it. I would say things like "why would I want to walk through the woods?" (hike), "we don't swim", or my most famous line... "I would only run if someone was chasing me". 

My ancestors were looking at me like GIRL, STOP YOUR NONSENSE! 

It took years to realize how ignorant and stagnant my way of thinking was. The worse part is, I secretly wanted to be "one with nature". I had a decision to make, would I wait till I am no longer judged to be the #BlackAndOutdoorsy person I longed to be or just DO THE DAMN THANG. 

If you didn't notice, I chose the latter. Woop Woop. 

One spring day, I had an epiphany. I was the one being judgemental. To myself and my fellow people of color. I was part of the problem and I had to make it right, starting with me. That day I registered my daughter for swimming lessons and the two of us for tennis lessons. You may be thinking, TENNIS? I was taking baby steps homie.

After that epiphany, I have never looked back. To be honest, I was extremely ignorant before. I thought the majority of people of color did not participate in outdoor activities and that is not the case.  Yes, I had to search using Bob Dole's internet but ultimately I found what I was looking for. There were organizations that were of color AND doing the activities I wanted to try. I sought out people who look like me and occupy the spaces I would like to be apart of. I made a commitment to myself and my community to debunk those negative stereotypes by promoting a healthy representation of people of color in outdoor spaces. 

I will be sharing some organizations to assist you on your quest to be #BlackAndOutdoorsy.

It is great sharing my journey with you.  Speaking of journies, I would like to share my hiking journey 50 First Hikes with you guys.  My girl Alexis from and I have challenged ourselves to hike 50 new trails in 2021. Wish us luck. 

I would love to know how you fell in love with nature or if it's not your thang, what is? I am open to new ideas and experiences. 


Tikima Renee