Therapy in Motion

Often times, for me, a hike is all about movement, therapy and meditation.

My hike last week was to a 11,400 ft. summit of Twin Sisters in Rocky Mountain National Park. There are 54 mountain peaks that are 14,000 feet or more but I took the lazy day hike and only hiked 9+miles. The first 3 miles up was sort of boring. The trail was in the trees with a limited view (of anything)  but at least the trail was cool and shady. Once the sun came out, the hiking got hot and humid and the mosquitoes came out in full force. It was nasty until I realized I had one of those bug repellant wet wipes in my pack. Oh, my, life was good again!

view of longs peak from twin sisters peak

Near the top, above timberline there’s nothing to interrupt the view – it’s all mountains and sky!

Twin Sisters Summit

When the trees disappeared, a boulder field was waiting for me to cross. When a storm is in the area, it’s best to stay far away from the exposed area but this was a perfect hiking day with blue skies and puffy clouds.

On the boulder field, others left stone markers, called cairns to help me stay on the trail.  This small pile of rocks were like beacons and I was able to find my way to the summit easily.
cairn - pile of stones used as a marker on a trailThe summit was rocky and rigid. The others at the top balanced on the rocks as they took pictures, ate lunch, and just relaxed after the long haul up.

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I probably won’t hike that mountain again – the view was limited and there was no water source.  I like when I can see, feel and get energized by flowing water.

So, where shall we go next?

Brand New Eyes

First hike for young boySometimes we are blessed to see things all over again, with brand new eyes. If you have children or are around toddlers, you know what I mean.

A butterfly is one thing on a piece of paper or on television, but when a child sees one  for the first time and you’re there to experience it – it’s bliss all over again.

Whether you decide to ‘find’ a mountain, fly a kite, paint a table,  wash the dishes or take a hike – with new eyes – the experience can be giddy.

Recently I gave my grandson the choice to 1) go to the playground or 2) take a hike (something he’s never done before) he chose the hike. And once he found his stride, the kid just flew up the trail! At the ripe age of 2 ½, he had the energy, excitement and ambition to just go. My huge smile stayed put the entire time as I discovered the art, beauty and thrill of hiking again for the first time.

There are going to be a bunch of “firsts” for him and I plan to be there for as many as possible. I’m young… all over again!

Nature’s Playpen

Taking a walk in silence can be one of the most educational things you can do to enhance your growth.

rushing water in springUnplugging music, books, podcasts and most of all …the train of endless thoughts … allows you time to let in new ideas.

Walking, looking at the scenery, smelling the air, taking a shower, watching clouds … all mindless activities that give your mind a much needed break.

To grow — you have to have downtime.  If you hike with a friend, take a break from the conversation and walk in silence for awhile. If you hike alone, focus on the path, the trees, flowers blooming, clouds forming or your breathing. Stop the chatter and be in the moment.

So simple, so easy – it takes focus though. Focus on the moment at hand.  Your brain will thank you for this brief respite. Trust me.