Name: Judy "Abeja" Hummel
Where from: All over, but most recently north of San Francisco
Roots: German and Norwegian
I was born on groundhogs day (go figure) in 1972, in the hospital in Ogden, Utah.
Who did you grow up with?
I grew up with my Mom, Nancy, my dad, John, and my brother, David, who is 4 years older than me.
What things are you afraid of?
I used to be afraid that I'd wake up one day in a place I didn't particularly like, doing a job that wasn't fulfilling, and wonder where all my time had gone, and what I'd done with my life. I'm finally realizing that that won't happen. Now, I'm afraid for the future of our planet and our communities. I worry that there won't be all the beautiful places to take my kids hiking, that we'll eventually have to buy filtered air just as we buy filtered water, and that all living things, human and otherwise, will suffer greatly for our carelessness.
What is your favorite food?
I love spicy Thai food cooked in coconut milk. Or anything cooked over a campfire.
Where is your favorite place?
There's this really awesome place called turtleback falls in North Carolina where you can actually get in the water and slide down the slick rock and over the falls about 15 feet into the water below. It's really a blast!
What is your advice to young people today?
Fear is natural and a good thing to acknowledge, but don't let it shape your decisions. The world is a big, beautiful place full of kind, fun people and amazing places. Follow your dreams, but always be aware of how what you do, what you buy, and how you behave effects other people.
Who or what has had an especially strong influence on the direction of your life?
I know this sounds corny, but love is my strongest influence. No matter what I do, I do for and with love. Whether I'm teaching kids, defending trees, weeding my garden, or giving a massage, I try to keep love as my focus and support.
What are some really fun things you've done?
Hmm, I try to have fun with everything I do, even work. One really fun job I had was working on a demolition crew, tearing down an old house. I also had lots of fun teaching bike repair at Trips for Kids. Two summers ago, I hopped freight trains with some friends of mine out to California-- which is illegal and very dangerous if you don't know what you're doing (so DON'T TRY IT)-- but it was pretty fun (see next question). Biking from Northern Washington to Central California was great because I felt so free and powerful.
What's the most stupid thing you've ever done?
Hopping freight trains. I could have been killed! (see previous question).
What are you good at?
I'm good at working with a wide variety of people and helping them work things out.
What are you not so good at?
I'm not very good at staying in one place for any length of time. I get wandering feet and a bad case of the-grass-is-always-greener syndrome.
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