On January 1st I signed up for the 52 hike challenge. If you aren’t sure what that is definitely go take a look see (www.52hikechallenge.com). I wanted to participate last year but discovered it a bit late into the year. So this year I was definitely signing up. When I was done signing up and saw all the inspiration and excitement I asked myself what it was about hiking that got me so revved up and why I get so excited to see others passionate about it too. In case you are on the fence about hiking or wondering what all the hype is about here are a few reasons why hiking really is amazing.
1. The views. No matter where you are hiking or how long you are hiking you are bound to see something beautiful. From mountains, to rivers, to trees, to deserts there is always something to discover. Nature is a wonderful thing to be surrounded by and when you hike you are fully immersed. To me, there is nothing better than setting off on a hike with the excitement of seeing what is at the end and along the way discovering everything you never expected to see. It is it’s own kind of magic.
2. The adrenaline rush. This comes with highly anticipated hikes for me. Seeing so many pictures of extraordinary places to hike I get a certain excitement with the anticipation. Then comes seeing the trail, seeing people who have completed the hike coming back down from the top in bliss (and probably exhaustion), knowing how much further there is to go, some scary narrow trails or steep inclines, tall mountains and trees. It all builds up the adrenaline for the grand finale.
3. Nothing beats the exhaustion after a good hike. I am a very active person. Runner, yoga teacher, gym goer, etc. And I love it all. However, there is a certain satisfied exhaustion after hiking 23 miles in just a couple of days. Even with tired legs, blisters, sore calves, a sore back, hiking is worth it. You can lay your exhausted head down at night knowing you saw one more inch of this marvelous world. You accomplished something wonderful.
4. No matter where you live there are always places to hike. Everywhere I have lived or visited there are hiking trails. Whether they are mountain trails or simple trails through parks there is always a place to hike. Hiking is easily accessible and can be done after work or longer hikes on weekends. The options really are endless no matter your desire for length or difficulty. Hiking also gives you motivation to check out new places around the city and state you live.
5. The community. Although hiking is a very personal
thing for me in many ways, there is a certain passion the hiking community has that is unlike anything else. There are endless blogs, websites, Instagram pages, Facebook pages and local groups that bring together passionate hikers. People share their stories, tips, pictures, favorite places and hiking journeys with others and it is incredibly inspiring.
6. The Journey. With every hike comes introspection. On difficult hikes you may think to yourself ‘what the heck am I doing this for?’ or ‘did I really need to hike 10 miles today just to see a cool view?’ There will be times you are tired. There will be times that the simple feeling of the sunshine on a short hike will make you feel all warm and fuzzy. The hiking journey comes with learning more about yourself, what you are made of, what makes you tick and what makes you happy. Then, when seeing that view after your millions of miles or hiking through the woods for a moment of solitude you remember why you do this. Why you fell in love with hiking.
Why do you love hiking? Or what other things make you feel passionate and inspire. Stay wild!