Hiking is great exercise, we all know that. Studies have proven nature is good for you and I can personally attest to that. But why do we really hike? Is it because we know these things or is there more to it than that?
Any hiker will tell you this is not exactly an easy activity. If it was easy everyone would do it! There are flat nature trails that are not difficult, but even those require a certain amount of exertion and motivation. And one typically does not start out hiking 4,000 footers or traversing multiple peaks without building up to it!
There have been plenty of times when I’ve been out in the middle of the woods – hot, dirty, sore, and covered in bug bites. Usually at this point I’m craving a burger and ready for the couch. This can be outright miserable…why do I do this to myself?!?!
The answers are simple. I do it for the inner peace for one. There is a perspective that a mountain view can provide like no other. You want your problems to seem small? Climb to the top of a mountain and look out. You and your issues are tiny in this huge world and that view will prove it.
I’ve also hiked during tough times and it’s helped me through. Last year was incredibly tough for my family. I lost my great aunt, a sister-in-law, and my uncle all to cancer, and a cousin to Huntington’s disease. When I hike, I hold them in my heart and when I’m at the summit I feel as though the ones we lost are near.
This year I’ve also seen two of my close friends lose a parent. When you go through this amount of loss in a year’s time it really makes you take a step back to look at life.
Hiking season for the majority of us is FINALLY here (some bad asses hike year round, but I simply don’t have the equipment). When I hike, I will do it for the ones who can’t. Not just for those who have passed, but for the people who fight for our country and lose limbs, for those battling disease, and those who can hardly afford to eat and buy clothes. And yes, for the view. Always for the view.
In loving memory of Liz, Cadi, Joel, Kim, Bob and Janet. God bless.