This month, I have had the opportunity to get back out on the hiking trail. More specifically, the Appalachian Trail. Before this month, we hadn’t been hiking since September. Wow, almost a year! While it generally seems like time flies, in this case, it felt every bit of 10 months since I had hiked. My body surely felt it and I was glad we had decided to “ease” back in with a 6.8 mile hike. If you can call that easing….
So, as you likely know, I opened a new business this past year with 2 other ladies and the amount of work has been, at times, overwhelming. I have spent a lot of time creating and designing and working with Clients that I started to kinda forget what it was like to do something for me. To take time to think, to relax, and not be working. The trail is a place that can do that for me.
There was a day that we decided to just take the time to pull out the calendar and pick a couple days to schedule in some day hikes and a couple of weekend hikes as well. I’m a pretty task oriented person, so when I schedule something, I rarely cancel it or schedule over it. If hiking is on the calendar for July 2, then I’m hiking that day. So I knew that if we took the time to schedule out some hikes, we would make that our plan.
I think there are a couple things that happen during the time that I’m hiking. I feel a bit more free than usual. I love being outdoors. There is a peace I feel with nature, and the trees, and the sun (when it’s out). Being able to see the sky, and the clouds, and the twigs, and leaves, I feel contentment. I love having my best friend to hike with and the 2 puppies that come along as well. They might love hiking even more than I do! It’s a time to re-balance for me. I’m doing something good for myself, not just my body but my soul as well.
Hiking is also one of the times I choose not to see any wildlife and they don’t see me. That is one of the mantras I spend a portion of the hike repeating. Sometimes silently, just in my head, and sometimes out loud, especially when I hear the groundcover rustle. It has served me well, as I haven’t had a wildlife experience to date. Happy to report that.
We could easily go to a local trail to go hiking. But now that we have set foot upon the Appalachian Trail, I really have that desire to see how much of the trail we can do. It’s like a challenge. I like challenges! The Appalachian Trail from beginning to end has about 2178.3 miles. Our first 3.5 day overnight backpacking hike was a total of 40.6 miles. That was a rough 1st outing. Fast forwarding to this month, we have done 2 separate day hikes for a total of 15.3 miles so far this month! Not like our first hike but still a good amount, and the day hiking with a lighter day pack is more enticing these days. ;) I think it has become less about the amount of miles we can cover in a day or a trip. The experience and the way I feel has become more important. Doesn’t mean I’m not keeping track of the amount of miles completed….cause I am. All 109.9 miles.
In comparison to how much of the trail there if left to do, it might seem like a small about completed. But I like to look at it as a victory. I’ve done something that huge populations of people have not done. But besides that, I have enjoyed my time spent hiking. Well, most of the time. Maybe not when we have a 2000 foot incline in a distance of a half mile. ;) Those climbs are tough. These are personal accomplishments for me and I’m grateful that I have the ability to go hiking and to experience nature the way that I do. I can’t wait to hit the trail again!