My youngest son has been on Spring Break all week and the week before, my two high schoolers had their week off. The weekend between, Easter weekend, my husband and I decided to take the kids to do a hike in Virginia that we had done ourselves a few times more than 20 years ago, Old Rag.
Hiking up Old Rag with 20 lbs of water and food in my inadequate backpack reminded me yet again, that as much as I love hiking and exploring nature, my tools for doing such are woefully inadequate. I was reminded of this by every well-outfitted hiker that we passed on the trail with their gummy soled boots, sleek packs, hiking poles, and conversations about the merits of this trail, that piece of equipment, and a whole bunch of jargon I didn’t understand. Thankfully, there were also the girls behind me in workout clothes laughing about how they were going to form their own hiking club that would consist of them getting together to drink wine and talk about that one time they hiked Old Rag. “We’re really into hiking! Like this one time we went hiking . . . .”
Anyway, enough babbling.
Its probably clear that I have a few obsessions in my life. My current obsession with body composition is putting me on stage in a figure competition in June and has me in the gym 7 days a week. And then there will be throwing practices and more Highland Games and next year, we’ll see about the horses . . .
But, there are things I still like to do just for fun. Hiking up and down a mountain with a crappy backpack, riding my bike with my son on a random stormy day, and long ambles through the woods with my dog.
No matter what activity you do, you’ve probably recognized that there tends to be a gradient of how involved people get. For our endurance enthusiasts, there are the casual jogger. And then there are those who compete in several marathons or Iron-mans every year. For people who play organized sports, there are those who show up for the fun and camaraderie and rarely practice at home and those who have technique coaches and comprehensive training and diet programs.
As long as you can participate safely in whatever activity you like, there really is no wrong approach. Some people can only get motivated if they go all in, pull out all the stops, and make the goal World Domination. Others can commit to the long grind simply for the opportunity to see where they stack up. And others just want to dabble on the edges where they can have fun and not have to drastically change their lives (or invest in hiking backpacks and fancy boots). The most important piece is that your approach keeps you coming back to drink from the well and doesn’t resign you to the couch.
Most importantly, find a reason to get outside and spend some time there.
Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.