Some days I wake up feeling lucky for the beauty that awaits outside my door. Despite the overcast, cool temperatures, I layer clothes, slip on sturdy hiking boots and step outside.
The temperature at this moment is a cool 43 degrees, but I quickly warm up with each steep climb up Morton Street. Getting the hard part out-of-the-way first is challenging but energizing at the same time.
Knowing the beauty of the landscape where I live is my reward at the top of this grade helps to keep me moving and motivated.
This picture does not do justice to how STEEP this hill was, but believe me, it was ALL that and a bag of chips. (Speaking of chips… I’m craving some right now! “Honey, didn’t we earn chips today?…” “Uh, kind of defeats the purpose doesn’t it?” … I pout. He doesn’t notice. Spoil sport.)
Mile 1- We earned this view with a steep climb.
Mile 2- For me, the first mile is always the hardest. During this tough beginning, my thoughts are consumed with my inner voice telling me it’s too hard.
“This is only the first mile, you have five more to go… you’re not going to be able to do this.”
It’s hard to ignore her at the beginning. I gave up my warm, cozy bed inside my home where the fire blazes for this? Despite her, I keep going. After the first mile, I’ve put a muzzle on my annoying negative inner voice. She has been replaced with this Super Hero engaged in the activity, finally connecting with the outside world and the beauty surrounding her. At this moment I’m noticing the trailhead in front of me. The beautiful trees that line each side of me.
Mile 3- I consider mile 3 to be the best mile. For starters, the view is incredible. The tops of the trees have opened up, and I can feel how far we’ve gone. Breathing is a steady pace, and what’s this? I actually feel the most energized?? Might I be able to jog on this hike??? I won’t take things that far. The last time that I tried jogging on a trail I actually twisted my ankle. Bad idea.
Mile 4- Mile 4 arrives quickly. I didn’t even notice it creeping up, but here it is. More than halfway done and we’re making a fast descent into a beautiful grove of firs, pines and Effin Artist Madrones (as Hubby likes to call them). We empty out on a wide trail headed home.
Mile 5- At mile 5 I’m rewarded with this beautiful stream. Might want to jump in it were it not for the double-layered clothing and 40-degree temperature outside. I pass, but I linger at this stop as I listen to the stream.
Mile FINISHED- A STARBUCKS REWARD! The end is near, and with the exception of sore feet I probably could keep going. Not so fast, I will gladly stop for a cappuccino at my local Starbucks. This is the greatest reward of all. I love to sit with my husband and sip our coffees and, what is it exactly…? I’m not sure but I like just being out together and doing nothing and soaking in the day. I even tolerate my husband’s grousing about Starbucks. We debate the many coffee houses in town. We agree next time to choose one above an indy bookstore that is more comfortable and local. Fair enough, I think, still enjoying my coffee here, at this time. This day. I feel we made the most of it, which is really all you can ask for, right?
I hope that wherever you live that you take the time to find the beauty of the outdoors somewhere close. Take a walk, hike, jog whatever activity interests you and explore. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.