Friday, June 29, 2012

My Wild Hiking Journey

A good book will sometimes inspire you and change your life in a special way. It might motivate you to take the first steps toward making your goal a reality. It might change your thinking and help you see the world as a friendlier place. I was pleasantly surprised when my husband agreed to read "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed (Oprah's Book Club Version 2). I read the book on my Kindle and he read on his iPad. We didn't always read at the same time but we stayed together and finished the book on the same day.

We were inspired to take our own hike after we read about Cheryl Strayed's journey on the Pacific Crest Trail. We chose the 6.8 mile Chinquapin Trail at Huntsville State Park. This was the second time that we hiked this trail. The first time I suffered a nasty fall and decided that hiking was not my cup of tea. I also have to cope with the fact that I have two metal plates in my right leg.

Dean and I decided we were up for the challenge so we arrived at the park at 11:00 am on Saturday morning. I was equipped with three bottles of Gatorade and an old broom handle that I was going to use as a walking stick (no more falls!). The temperature was in the mid-90s and the heat was major factor that we had to deal with.

I really like the following quote from "Wild"....this explains exactly how an adventure like this can change your attitude;
Miles weren't things that blazed dully past. They were long, intimate struggles of weeds and clumps of dirt, blades of grass and flowers that bent in the wind, trees that lumbered and stretched. They were the sound of my breath and my feet hitting the trail one step at a time and the click of my ski pole. The PCT had taught me what a mile was. I was humble before each and every one.
I think I hit the "wall" at the 5.5 mile marker. I still had more than a mile to go and I wasn't sure I could make it. I was hot, my leg hurt and all the Gatorade was gone. My husband encouraged me to "finish strong." He told me that I could make it. I was praying for strength to take one more step. I really learned the meaning of a mile in that last hour of the hike.

I made it to the end and I am glad that I pushed myself to do somthing out of my comfort zone. If I can do this, there must be other challenges waiting to be conquered if I am willing to stay the course.

Are you ready to break out of your comfort zone and attempt some new challenges?

Please share your thoughts in the Comments Section below.

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