hiking

Be Well, Be Happy, Be Balanced

Well hello there beautiful followers. Happy 2017! (I can hear you muttering to yourself, “She’s 27 days behind on that greeting.”) Yep, It’s January 28, and I am just now getting around to writing my first post of 2017.  I even missed the blog’s 2 year birthday – I’m a terribly blog mom. But, I am here now.  I’ve been struggling a lot lately with balance.  By the time I get home from work (which is kicking my ass again) and the gym at night, I have no energy to write. However, I dusted off my old 2015 vision board.  It served me well, and I hope to refocus those goals.  I was dreading this post because I’m ashamed to report that I’m the heaviest I’ve been in a long, long time, even with hitting the gym five times a week. So I’m renewing my goals from 2015.  Last year I got extremely off track because I was busy making a life in a new city.  I love my life here.  I’m happy here, but I reverted back to old eating habits.  Plus I’ve been more social, and I’m terrible about monitoring food and drink intake while socializing. So I’m pledging to you today that I am going to make 2017 a year of balance, wellness, and happiness. Those words are my focus words. My goals.

 

Anyway, after a very stressful week at work, I decided to get out into nature this morning even though it was cold and windy.  I’ve missed being able to hike after work since it gets dark so early in the winter. However, I needed some time with nature today.  I decided to try a new trail that I’ve never been on.  Once I parked, I took off walking without researching the trail beforehand. I decided to pick a path and see where it took me.  As I walked the trial and worked on clearing my mind, I focused on the beauty around me, on the wind, the sun hitting my face. I could feel the tension start to ease away.  I love hiking. I love the community you feel even when hiking alone. This morning so many people were quick to smile and say, “good morning” as we passed on the trail.  At one point, I slightly panicked because I realized that I couldn’t remember the name of the trailhead where I parked, but I continued, confident in the path I was on and that it would lead me to where I was supposed to be.  That feeling, that sureness, is something I wish I could bottle and take a dose of during my most stressful times. I’m glad that I reconnected with that feeling today.

 

Leave a comment

And She Moves (Up) Mountains

Yesterday was a beautiful spring day here in Central Arkansas. High in the low 70s and low humidity. Going for a hike seemed like the perfect cure for the stuck-in-the-office-all-day Blues. What’s lovely about living in the Natural State is that there is a mountain with a hiking trail just 10 minutes outside of town. The last time I hiked Pinnacle, I was just getting over a respiratory infection, and I had a tough go of it.  It was raining and foggy, and I got off trail and slid some of the way down.  It was kind of scary.  BUT! I wasn’t going to let that stop me from trying again.  So yesterday, after work, I headed out to the mountain to give it another go.  I even asked a boy who is in way better shape than I am to go with me.  You know my fear of holding people back and not being able to keep up, so I was slightly relieved when he couldn’t go.  It still counts as stepping out of my comfort zone though!

I take off up the side of the hill.  I kept having to remind myself that it was okay if I needed to rest, I wasn’t in a race with anyone.  But I was in a race with the sunset.  I was terrified of having to billy goat my way down the side of that damn mountain in the dark.  So I pushed myself hard.  I still had to stop and take breathers, and of course talk to strangers.  But I made it to the top, and it was beautiful.

 

 

I rested for just a short time at the top and soaked up a little nature (aka sucked gnats down my throat as I gasped for breath).  I quickly started my way back down because the sun was sitting a little lower in the sky, and I knew it wouldn’t be long until sunset.

 The way back down is so much more intimidating than the way up.  I am not a graceful or balanced person.  I stumble on the flattest of grounds, so peering down at the rocky trail before me is a wee bit scary.  I ended up crab walking my way down most of they way (like I usually do).

   I’m usually passed by sure-footed people who hop from rock to rock like a gazelle.  I fell once on the way up and once on the way down (hey, maybe I am balanced).  I can guarantee that I’ll fall once on the way down. Usually it is close to the base because I get a little sure of myself and start going faster and wham! I usually step on slippery rock and lose my footing.  However, no real injuries and only a slight limp to the car.  I’m not sore today at all.  Guess all those squats are working.  My heart rate monitor says I burned 1,203 calories.  I believe it.  My heart rate got pretty up there on the way up.  I’m really glad I did it though.  Oh, and for all those who are in suspense on whether I made it back down before sunset – I did! Personal goal achieved.

Leave a comment