OK, yesterday I talked about my love of yoga. Today, I’m moving on to Hiking.

It makes me excited just to think about Hiking. I’ve been a hiker girl since I was a wee one, trudging through the Great Smoky Mountains, and insisting on doing it all myself. My family did a lot of day hiking and it’s something my husband and I like to do together as well. I feel more like myself out in nature than most any other space I could be. Put me on a leafy, narrow, mountain hiking trail on a cool day and I will not be able to contain my smile.  One of my life goals is to hike the Appalachian Trail.

Here’s a sampling of the gifts hiking has given me:

  • Worship – I am a nature-worshiper. No, I don’t worship nature, but I do worship God by being in nature. I think one of the ways God made people to be different is in how they worship him. Some draw close through ritual, some through prayer, some through service. Lots of things. My main one is nature. And since I love to not just watch, but participate actively, I find that hiking gives me the outlet I crave to worship God with my whole body as I use it to explore this world he created.
  • Solitude – My preferred position when hiking is at the front of the line. I like to hike with nobody to follow, nobody to see, just the trees and path in front. I might chat a bit with my fellow hikiers, but mostly I like to just walk and think and be alone. Hiking gives me an opportunity to feel solitude and I find such rich refreshment in it.
  • Challenge – I have met some hiking trails that have kicked my butt. Seriously. There is this one in Colorado near my parent’s home that is 3 miles in, 3 miles out and it’s at about 8500 feet above sea level. It’s ups and downs, but it’s mostly ups and then mostly downs and then the same on the way back. Miles 1-2 are hard, mile 3 is pretty easy. Then you see the rushing river, explore, rest, and think you’re ready to start back. But it only takes a few minutes for you remember that mile 4-5 are going to kick your butt. For real. It becomes a one step at a time battle against everything telling you it can’t be done. There is nothing like the feeling of fighting through something physically challenging and coming out the other side. Hiking forces that because you can’t just push the stop button, hop off, and head to the shower. You’re 2 miles from the road on a narrow mountain trail. Nothing but your two feet are going to get you through and that is hard and powerful.

Next up in this series is Dance!