Take a hike

By TERESA HAMMOND
I’m taking up hiking.

This issue’s column almost seems like a natural segue as well as transition from all those which have come before it.

I’ve shared plenty on my journey via marathon running, the practice of yoga, playing the weight up and down game and everything in between. Last issue, however, I touched on motherhood and how much I treasure my mother.

So, with that said, my newfound adventure by way of lacing up a different pair of shoes and hiking, comes at the inspiration of my son. The hobby of running found me when both of my children were small. One child picked it up almost instantly while the other did the exact opposite and that’s okay.

My son is more the nature boy, the one who looks up and takes it all in as life buzzes by. From a young age I would refer to him as my little Buddha boy, always seeking kindness and solace. The kid can walk forever and never feel a thing.

As he’s gotten older I’m recognizing the opportunity to share something both magical and memorable with my son. And so, the hiking chapter of our life’s adventure will begin.

Not to be confused I’ll still maintain a balance of yoga and running, but hikes will be added to our summer excursions. His bucket list (and mine) will be to hike Half Dome. A bucket list item I first fathomed seven years ago when I lost a notable amount of weight. The sky was the limit, back then and the bucket list did indeed grow.

I feel fortunate in that we have a friend who takes people up Half Dome in his spare time for fun. Hiking the Dome brings him so much joy, that he shares it with as many and as often as he can.

What’s most liberating and exciting about this new adventure is having my son pick the trails and locations we’ll hike next. Today, we have no dirt on our shoes, with three possible hikes planned for the month of June. It’s been fun talking with him about varying trails in different locations and what about each trail appeals to him.

I’ve also been reading a few blogs, as well as magazine articles about hiking and have been surprised by all I didn’t know. Things like backpacks, snacks, bottles of water, maps and weather checks each have made every “beginner” list I’ve read. As a runner, things are kept to a minimum. Less is more by way of efficiency and getting the job done when you’re running. Apparently there are no aid stations when you’re hiking – good to know.

So, with my son at my side or perhaps me trailing him a bit, we’ll become human alpacas and take to the world of wonder. I’m excited. Taking on something new and sharing it with my children, yeah, that never gets old.

In short, it’s all pretty simple; get outside this summer and take advantage of the simplicity which this world has to offer. It’s amazing how much is out there for us to see and do. How many opportunities are just waiting to be discovered? Because when the day is done and the sun finally sets, our lives will not be defined by the things within our four walls, but by the memories made with those who passed through them.

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