“Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.” ~ Soren Kierkegaard
I tend to think of myself as an accidental hiker. Seriously… I was probably hiking for a good month or so before I even realized that I was (Actually hiking that is). Silly me… I thought I was walking.
I had just turned 40, and to be honest years and years of a sedentary lifestyle combined with too many bad habits and far too much bad food had begun to take it’s toll. Simply put I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. So I turned off the television and headed outside.
I began a daily walking regimen. Not far, 2 or 3 miles after work… Maybe 5 on the weekends. Soon two turned into five, and five turned into ten. I was becoming bored just walking around my neighborhood. I mean really… How many times can you walk down the same street?
So I began walking along the North Shore Bike Path which stretches about 16 miles from Mundelein to Lake Bluff. It was near my house and offered more scenery than my subdivision that’s for sure! But far more than that, it introduced me to the Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway which spans 31 miles from just south of the Illinois-Wisconsin border to Deerfield, and connects a chain of 10 forest preserves in Lake County Illinois and thousands of acres of land.
I began regularly posting the mileage I was racking up, along with pictures of the breathtaking scenery I was encountering on my walks to my Facebook page. One day someone commented on all of my posts about my recent hiking. Up until this point I had never thought of what I was doing as hiking, I was still thinking of it as walking, just in a more scenic venue. But I was hiking, and I realized it that day.
Granted I wasn’t hiking the Triple Crown or spending weeks backpacking in the wilderness. But I was hiking! The funny thing is once I realized I was hiking I wanted to do more. Longer trails. Harder trails. More elevation. More miles. In fact lately the idea of through hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, the Appalachian Trail and the Continental Divide Trail seem more appealing than daunting… But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I am still merely a novice. A greenhorn. A noob.
But you may be as well. I began this blog so you can come along with me. So you can share my victories, learn from my mistakes. I intend for this blog to be not only a resource for the novice hiker, but a source of inspiration for everyone, everywhere to turn off the television and head outside.