If you haven’t gone hiking yet, you, my friend, are missing out. The great outdoors is called Great for a reason. And more than beautiful scenery, there’s something about time outside that helps us remember who we are. It helps us reconnect with our instincts, and become… well… superheroes. There’s a reason the Fortress of Solitude is in the middle of nowhere. There’s a reason Bruce Wayne trained on the top of a dang mountain. The reasons are two fold:
Reason number one: physical exertion helps us learn about ourselves. Any time you wear your body out, it teaches you what your limits are. Obviously, this is true physically, but it shows us our mental limits too. And once we know where those limits are, we can find a way to break through them.
The second reason is that the outdoors teaches those same lessons. And when we combine the two, magical things happen. Reconnecting with nature helps us find our basic, biological selves, and teaches us how to grow. When we do that, we are unstoppable.
We find things we never knew we were missing.
So this summer, I’m trying to do more hiking. And this week, I found myself at George Rogers Clark Park, right outside of Springfield, Ohio.
George Rogers Clark Park is a VERY interesting place to begin with, featuring a house you can tour (which, apparently, is haunted, if that’s your thing). There are also a bunch of cool old (or old style, truth be known I’m not sure) buildings- a fort with a log cabin, and a Native American village. The hiking paths are not too long, but there are a fair number of small hills, some lovely water features and lots of beautiful woods. The trails are very rugged and rustic. There were hoof prints in the mud, too, so apparently horse back riding happens there too.
We hiked almost four miles, and although it was a little bit muddy, it was a lovely, lovely morning adventure.
And then, of course, we had post hike ice cream.
If you’ve never gone for a hike before, you may find these helpful:
-if you’re going alone, tell someone where you are and make sure you have a map, even if you think it’s no big deal
-wear comfortable shoes, and dress for the weather. I prefer leggings and layers of shirts, a hat and sunglasses. My personal rule is no jeans! If you get wet, they take forever to dry, and they have a tendency to chafe.
-I always bring a pack with a water bottle, collapsible bowl for Penelope, a couple snacks, sunscreen and bugspray, just in case. This also gives me somewhere to put my car keys!
-take note of the weather and the trail- if it’s been rainy, expect mud, etc.
-leave no trace! This is ALWAYS a good idea when you’re outside, but it bears reminding. Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but tracks.
Superhero Action of the Day: Spend some time outside today- even if it’s just 15 minutes, enjoy the world today.