Local Lake Charles woman goes viral on TikTok

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 4:29 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - It’s a TikTok that is sure to give you some inspiration.

Kiah Mansell, a Lake Charles resident, hiking up the Manitou Incline in Colorado.

“I decided it would be fun to take little snippets of video throughout the day to post to my family and friends, and that was a fun thing on Facebook for them to follow along,” Mansell said. “At the end of the day, I strung those videos together and posted them on my TikTok, and it just blew up.”

Having around 419 thousand likes and counting, the video follows her journey up the Manitou Incline, a hiking trail that gains about 2,000 feet in elevation.

She says six months ago, she would not have been able to do it.

“Well, part of it was because I was about 35 pounds heavier, six months ago, and so I’ve been on this weight loss journey and health journey,” she said. “I’m not as concerned with the numbers on the scale more as how my overall body feels and where I’m going in the long run. But that extra 35 pounds would have definitely slowed me down or even stopped me.”

Equivalent to about 190 floors, Mansell says attitude determines altitude.

“It’s something that Coach Franklin Shaw at the school that I work at, Lake Charles Charter Academy, always said, attitude determines the altitude,” she said. “If you think you can do it, you can do it, It may take you a while, and I was definitely a turtle doing this, but I did it, and I was super proud of myself for it.”

And while she had family and friends pumping her on, she said in moments where she had to power through, she would tell herself, “one step at a time.”

“Sometimes we have to do that in life too,” she said. “When things feel too big, we just have to take that one next step and stop looking at the summit, which seems impossibly far away.”

And it’s with that mentality in mind that she made it to the top.

“I’ve been through a lot of life changes, just like a lot of people in Lake Charles have been through a lot of life changes this past year,” she said.” “Part of that change is that I’ve had to learn to do things on my own, and to be on my own in a lot of ways, and to be able to accomplish something that seems so huge, really impacted me in that moment, and made me feel that there is nothing in this world that can stop me from achieving my goals.”

And Mansell is currently on a solo cross-country journey visiting different parts of the United States.

She says she hopes people get encouragement from the video to do whatever hard thing that they are facing.

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