I am a runner.
I’ve run tons of races, from 5k’s to ultra-marathons. Without question, my favorite runs have been the ones on dirt trails in the woods.
Where I live in the Northwest corner of Connecticut, there is a myriad of trails, including 52 miles of the Appalachian Trail. The terrain and sights range from challenging to casual, wooded, streams, waterfalls, cliffs, climbing, views, you name it, Connecticut has it all.
For more than a year, I’ve been struggling with a knee issue. Since I don’t run with the ease I used to, I’ve had to find creative ways to log on the miles without the extra pounding on my joints.
Hiking? At first, outing myself as a hiker caused me to stutter. It was kind of like identifying as a runner, yet calling myself a jogger. If you are a runner, you know just what I’m saying here.
Lesson learned. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
I grab my walking poles, wrap my boots in dirty girl gators and boom… I’m a hiker!
Oh… the feeling of WONDER and AWE and JOY I experience while hiking in those remote places where most people never venture.
Running and hiking are both tough workouts, but while one can typically be grueling, the other is always a glorious adventure.
Now that I can happily admit that I am a hiker, do you want to know what I love most about it?
~ My camera roll is like a virtual gratitude journal. When I look back at the photos I’ve taken, I can remember just what I thought and felt when I snapped the shot.
Exercise and Views
~ I choose trails that have some elevation. In addition to an excellent glute workout, I catch some fabulous views!
~ I bring my dog. No explanation needed.
~ I don’t just breathe when I’m hiking. I search out the scents and savor them. Fresh pine, flowering trees, and multiflora rose, make the trek that much sweeter.
I don’t remember the exact moment, but somewhere along the trail, I’ve fallen in love with hiking.
No special skills necessary, but there is one crucial requirement.
You have to enjoy your own company.
Grab your camera, your gators, and borrow a dog if you don’t have your own. Hit the trails and release your inner hiker.
Without hesitation, I say it now, loud and clear.
I am a hiker!
“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”
– John Muir
Cheers to the trails and where they’ll take you!