For those of you that know me well, or follow me on social media, you know that I have become slightly obsessed with hiking. I don’t mean a quick lap around the park or a 30 minute trip around the foothills. I mean a 6+ hour adventure that requires gear and grit! Okay, that may be exaggerating a bit.
I guess what I mean to say is I love the challenge that comes with hiking…..at a high altitude, far away. If you’ve never done a longer hike like what I’m eluding too, I hope I can describe it well enough you are inspired to attempt it.
First of all, hiking “off the grid” as I like to refer to it as, is refreshing because of all of the FRESH AIR. Even if you live in a small town or a fairly clean city, you won’t believe the difference in air quality up in the mountains.
Second, if you go up high enough or far enough away your cell phone will not connect, there is no service. Let me repeat: NO CELL SERVICE! Talk about completely unplugging and tuning into what is your present focus. I believe this is called living in the moment and if you aren’t quite getting it, you need to step away from all technology for 15 minutes; minimum. This reason is at the top of the list because: I occasionally get really, really stressed out and can’t handle people or common situations (like rush hour traffic). I need a break, a breather, a view where I can just reset and recharge.
Third, if you are blessed enough to have mountains near by, maybe even some creeks or lakes, then you know that the scenery is incredible! If you are thinking there is absolutely no way I could hike that long or in high altitudes; do not worry. Enjoying the scenery forces you to quit thinking about your legs and lungs burning!
Fourth, hiking is a killer workout! For those of you wanting a massive calorie burn, strong, toned legs, and a lifted booty; GO HIKING! Your heart and lungs get worked too, but I know most of our focus tends to be on the outer workings. The cool thing about hiking is you are working so many muscle groups and it doesn’t feel like you are dying.
Lastly, the gratification that comes when you reach the top of the mountain. All of the mental battles you had from the bottom until now have some kind of reward. For everyone this will most likely be different, but for me: it’s knowing how difficult the terrain was, how many times I wanted to say “umm this is high enough I can’t even feel my legs”, wondering what I’m missing on the social front. Most importantly knowing I wanted to reach the top, to see the incredible views, to mark one more adventure off the list; and actually achieving it.
Bonus: You get to eat trail mix and compact protein bars, and shop for cute hiking socks and shoes!