Hike Your Heart Out

Hiking can be therapeutic. Sometimes it seems the only stress relief for us can be found while trekking through the trees.

If you’re stuck in a job that’s eating away at you day after day, searching for something more fulfilling and feeling lethargic, it might just be time to expand your horizons, and there’s no better way to do so than to simply hike your heart out.

A lot of hikers have claimed to hit the trail as a form of reflection. To a certain extent, this is true, but those moments of solace rarely involve thoughts surrounding bills, work, and the rat race of life. They’re usually focused on their hike, the beauty of the nature they’re observing, and the physical obstacles they’ve overcome throughout their day.

If you meet someone on an average day, small talk and questions such as how you make a living or idle chit-chat that amounts to nothing can be the norm. If you cross paths with someone on the trail? Chances are you will be exchanging stories of what you’ve just accomplished, the wildlife further down the path, and quiet nods of understanding.

Allowing the trivial drivel of the day to day grind to penetrate your thoughts is uncommon. For once, you aren’t going through the motions to benefit someone else. This is your time, your hike, your escape from the outside world and your connection to peace. All the ailments of your normal life are left behind with your footprints at the trailhead. They exist back there and you exist here, in the moment.

You owe no debt on the trail. Your only task at hand being what you yourself can or cannot do. If you become weak and need to stop everything without notice, you do so. There’s no paperwork pressure where the deadline could determine your performance review. No managerial sludge kicked in your face should you need a break while facing an uphill climb. When you do stop? You’re still on your time. You choose when you’re ready, willing, and able. Until then, maybe you’ll have a snack and listen to the wind whistle. Maybe you’ll notice the frogs or the birds, the ancient trees of the forest, the flowers or the mountain in the distance. They wait for you. What else will do the same in your life if you decide to stop?

We live in a world where there are expectations and demands. Everyone wants your time and they want it now. Even your own desires are shoved in your face through ads on your social media feeds. You can’t search for a new pair of shoes without being reminded to click and purchase them as soon as possible. This is the fast lane, instant gratification, your mind struggling to push it away before it consumes you. 25% off for the next 24 hours!

You are strong enough to ignore it. To unplug and disconnect from it. Cell service is scarce once you hike deep enough in the backcountry. The trees won’t charge you to take shelter from the rain, the birds won’t post a link to iTunes so you can hear their newest song, and the streams won’t try to sell you on their latest and greatest expensive water craze. These are gifts which won’t require a birthday or a holiday or a vacation to the tropics where, let’s face it, your credit cards will once again be demanded.

You might have plans this weekend. Dinner and a movie, maybe? We’ll advise you to to change them, just this once. Put the purse or wallet away and take a hike. The trail is inviting you to see what it has to offer. My prediction is there’s one not too far from where you reside.

If you go and don’t enjoy yourself, I’ll take full responsibility. If the weather forecast is hot and humid, the sweat you build up and the calories you burn are also gifts of nature. They cost nothing to make you feel healthier and happier. I’m willing to bet they will. Are you?

If you are heading out this weekend, drop us a comment and let us know where you’re off to. We’d love to hear how it goes as well!


18 thoughts on “Hike Your Heart Out

  1. Great thoughts! It’s so true; I’m heading out to the Sabrina Lake Backcountry in the Eastern Sierras! There is a fire nearby; smoke shouldn’t be too bad, but going to check the winds; change of plans may happen, but we are still getting out there. Where are you guys headed?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! That should turn out to be an absolutely beautiful hike! Have fun and enjoy the trip. Hope all goes well.

      We’re thinking about taking a trip to Red River Gorge, but we don’t have anything nailed down just yet. Working on finalizing plans today. That’s the beauty of backpacking and hiking, just grab a map, toss our packs in the car and head out! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good point! Actually, following up on Roseann’s comment below, I believe you need a permit to camp at Grayson Highlands as well! It definitely pays to plan and organize before a trip, but sometimes we like the spontaneity of an adventure.

        Always a good idea to check to see what you do or don’t need permits for, regardless. Thanks for reminding us of that fact. Most of the permits in the Midwest only require a slip/deposit at the trailhead, so I tend to lose sight of the locations that need more notice!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Super green! Wow. We only get that amount of greenery during winter here. My favorite photo is the third one : ) with the sunlight. I will admit I actually only really started LIKING hiking in the last few years. Now I enjoy it, but now I am more in shape so maybe that is why 😉 Thank you for sharing your experiences!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Marianne! Summer is in full swing here, so everything is very green. Our favorite time to be out is in the Fall, with all of the changing colors! The winters here are pretty frigid, so everything is covered in ice and snow.

      Glad to see you’re out hiking more. It can be a great way to get in shape, but it is easier if you’re already in good physical condition!

      Enjoy the hikes and we’ll be following along as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do enjoy fall hikes : ) There is a place called Panama Rocks in SW NY where my DH is from and that place is really nice. You can’t hike it in winter, obviously, but fall (or late spring) is amazing. Thank you again!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Really enjoyed your post this morning! Not sure where we will trek this weekend but we will hit a trail somewhere! Might just be a Metro Park. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, glad you enjoyed it! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with metro parks, we love ours! I feel like a lot of people (hikers, especially) ignore or avoid them, but there’s a lot of beauty to be found in them and some of the trails can really surprise you. One of the local parks here had a trail that kicked our butts with the uphills! 🙂

      If you do get out this weekend, have fun!

      Like

  4. That sunset (sunrise?) shot over the water is great – so pretty.
    We’ll be on Long Beach over the weekend, stretching our legs, rain or shine, and enjoying the Pacific surf – but not jumping in, too cold without a wetsuit!
    Enjoy your weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

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