Back in September, I joined a hiking group on MeetUp. At first, I was looking for wellness events to attend, but started receiving notifications from potential hiking groups in Cleveland. I was intrigued. I am the type of person to try almost anything once, so I decided to go hiking.
Initially, I thought I could simply throw on some sneakers, shorts and a bookbag, and trek for hours through the Northeast Ohio trails. Eating and fueling my body seemed optional because sometimes I miss meals. What’s the harm, right? Well, to my surprise on this warm September day, my blind optimism hiked me right into a disaster.
I literally felt like I was minutes away from fainting and was experiencing an immense amount of pain in my toes because I kept stubbing them on tree roots along the path. Oh, and with the altitude I lost hearing in my right ear! I was too embarrassed to say anything so I kept quiet while silently praying for the strength to finish the hike! Disaster🤦🏾♀️
By the time I got home from the hike, my whole body ached and my poor feet hurt for five whole days. And you want to know what’s crazy? The next day I told my friends about how much I enjoyed the experience. Despite my aches and pains, I really enjoyed it. Even though the hike was rough, I couldn’t help but take in the nature that surrounded me and acknowledge that I never felt so grounded…so alive. It was a sense of calm that lasted longer than my pain, thank goodness.
I knew I wanted to go hiking again, I just had to figure out how to have a pain-free (or as close to it as possible) experience. First, getting a quality pair of hiking shoes was a must. Now, I’m not the most stylish person in the world, however, I do try to look cute so initially, I tried to find some fancy hiking shoes. As I was looking for these so-called fancy shoes, however, I remembered how bad my feet hurt during my first hike and quickly decided that the most important thing was to have proper foot and ankle support! I settled on a pair of Salomon hiking shoes. My husband also gave me one of those lightweight backpacks with the built-in water pouch. I was all set!
I completed my second hike last weekend at Hinckley Lake Reservation and I have to say it was awesome. AWESOME! The ladies I hiked with were great company and I was well hydrated, comfortable and pain-free. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
The weather was great and the path was painted with the beautiful colors of fall. What’s more is literally every passerby greeted us with a hello and a smile, which made the hike extra pleasant. A small albino-ish snake even slithered across my path which startled me but was cool to see.
Hiking is a good way to practice and enjoy wellness–a way to connect with nature and revel in its beauty. What a challenging yet serene experience that I can’t wait to do again!
Is hiking your thing? Or is it something you’d like to do? Leave a comment and let me know!