I reached a milestone in 2019 and I’ve taken a few days off to hike and ponder what that means. I’m reintroducing adventure into my life. For those of you who followed my 2013-2015 health challenge, bike tour, and subsequent stop of said tour due to a family health emergency you know that it’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to focus on my health and fitness. Learning to be fit and healthy was something I enjoyed immensely. in 2015 on the bike tour I was at the peak of my adult health and fitness. I felt strong and it was absolutely wonderful.
Fast forward to 2019 and the opposite is true. Its not all bad news though. Over the last 4 years I have gained internal strength and the kind of confidence that only comes from trial and tribulations. I am happy to say that both of my sons are healthy and doing quite well. Thank the Lord! My business is quite successful. I’m working on projects I am fired up about with organizations and people I enjoy working with. Overall, I will say I am quite happy with many parts of my life. The one exception being the lack of being active. I have bikes sitting in my garage that have been stationary for years. Well, as I’m sure you can guess that is about to change. But maybe not in the way you might think.
I went on a hike today.
I like to think of this as a return to adventure
As part of my “pondering” I’ve been listening to some outdoor podcasts which have been quite motivating. So much so that I have decided to do a bit of a challenge to get me back on track: 50 Hikes. The goal is to hike 50 trails within the next 12 months. As of today, I’ve done the Savannah Trail Loop at Government Canyon State Park. I was originally planning on the Lytle Loop, but as it was 1pm on a July afternoon, I thought a more conservative mileage was the wise course of action. I was right. Even with the shaded Savannah Trail Loop offered, I still had to stop a few times to rest. Thank goodness I packed extra water and a snack. It pays to be more than prepared when hiking in the summertime heat.
One of the outcomes I wanted to get out of this three day getaway of hiking and pondering was to quiet my mind and get a sense of clarity about life. I was also hoping to get some focus and inspiration on a few personal and work projects. I was less than a mile into my hike and my mind was as busy as ever. I said out loud, “When is my mind going to get quiet?” Then I laughed because it was silly of me to think that a quiet mind, clarity, and a sense of peace would happen on command. <-That’s how busy things have been in ALL facets of my life lately.
I did stop a few times and take some pics which I enjoyed. Which is another thing I’d like to do on hikes. Capture the beauty of nature at state parks across the state. Or at least in the parts of the state I journey to during this 50 Hikes….tour? challenge? campaign?…..er….whatever I finally decide to call it. You get the drift, right?
What are the rules/guidelines of the 50 Hikes? Since I really want to return to adventure, I think it will have to be 50 different hikes. Which means I’ll have to travel and stretch my comfort level. It’s easy enough to go to places I’ve been before, but the real challenge will be going on new trails. This means that the Savannah Trail Loop can only count one time. Even if I decide to hike it again, it won’t count towards more than one hike on the journey to 50 Hikes.
So, here I am creating another challenge to get me moving into a healthier and more fit version of myself. I’m looking forward to the version of Jennifer that will emerge once this challenge is complete. Wish me luck!