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Discovering Your Essence Object: A Journey to Self-Discovery and Knowing What Truly Matters

Karen Baltz Gibbs, Physical Therapist, Personal Trainer, Garage Training & Rehab Gym




My Backpack


My Backpack is one of my Essence Objects. An Essence Object is an object that represents one of a person’s fundamental qualities. Around 2014 my husband and I decided to make a goal of completing backpacking the Oregon PCT (Pacific Crest Trail). The Oregon PCT is about 455 miles! We sat down to plan this out and found that we needed to be sectional hikers not through hikers. This means we would have to drive two vehicles to the start and end of each trip and we would have to study out each trip. The other part of this, our daughter was only 5 at the time. We felt that she was not ready for what the PCT would involve, even though she was brought up hiking and camping with us. We had to ask relatives to watch her while we were out on the trail. We eventually decided that she was ready at age 8 and tailored our trips to work with hiking with an 8-year-old. The most amazing part of this was that we finished this last summer of 2023 as a family! Our daughter completed 268 of the 455+ miles we accomplished!


Fundamental Quality


So what are my or my family's fundamental qualities in all of this? Determination is one of them. The effort in the planning process but especially the effort in the hiking, sometimes we faced some considerable fearful challenges. Sometimes my daughter would say that she was scared. I told her, I too, was scared looking at a narrow trail with a cliff or walking over snow at a hillside. I would tell her to just focus ahead and keep pushing forward. Life will bring many times of fear like this and you will make it through. I was telling her this but also to myself. The other aspect of this was the physical determination. Many times we had to push our bodies when our minds were tired. We gradually learned we could hike more in a day if we just stopped for a 2-hour rest break. Again, in life we sometimes try to keep on pushing yet we are just too tired. It took me a long time to learn that resting not only was good for the body and mind. We need to prioritize rest as much as we do all the activities we have in our busy lives. This is what I see when I look at my grey dusty backpack hanging on a hook in my garage.


This garage is now my business, Garage Training & Rehab Gym.

Call: 971.719.3162



Live Inspired,

Karen Baltz Gibbs, PT, DPT, CSCS, CMP, LMT







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