So the husband and I went hiking today. If you will remember this is the day we were SUPPOSED to do the Great American Mud Run in the beautiful Hocking Hills region of Ohio. But the douche bag of a race director cancelled the race. (Hey, I am TRYING to move on, I swear!)
Anyway, we saw no reason not to head down there anyway and get a hike on. Either way we were going to get our fit on today. And I got to log more miles towards my 100 mile challenge.
The funny thing about hikes is that they provide you a lot of time to think…Ponder…Reflect…I imagine this is why people have gone on hikes, walks, and runs since the beginning of time. (No, really, imagine Mr. Caveman saying to Mrs. Caveman “I need to clear my head, I am going for a run”. I am sure it happened.
I am a life long Ohioan. And pretty proud of that actually. I love my state. I have tried others but I always come back to her. So I grew up hiking walking and picnicking in the Hocking Hills. Its a true gem in Ohio. (www.hockinghills.com) And I suppose I take it for granted for when I arrived today I was quite shocked to see how packed it was with out of state vehicles. I guess other people realize how beautiful this section of our state is too!
Hiking here always makes me think of my grandparents. Who would take my sister and I here frequently when we were younger. My grandparents were very active well into their 70’s. They took us to parks, hikes, walks, lakes and picnics often. As a matter of fact, it is a rare memory that actually takes place IN their home because we spent so much time outside of it with them.
Along with missing them something fierce today came the reflection and sadness that my own parents were NOT that active.
Both of my parents are/were overweight. Not obese exactly as I was growing up, but definitely heavy. Neither my mom nor my dad were “Outdoor” people. I do not remember doing much outdoors with either of them. I seem to have inherited my “Outdoorsy-niss” from my maternal grandparents. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I can ROCK a PJ/Movie day like nobodies business. But I like being outdoors and active. DOING things. ESPECIALLY in the Fall. In Ohio.
Fall makes me come alive.
So as I hiked up the Rim trail at Conkle’s Hollow, breathing very heavily but still breathing. (And grateful for it!!!), I reflected on how far I have come.
There was a time about 12 years ago when I attempted this same trail with my ex husband that I just couldn’t. I just couldn’t make it up the elevation. It was a disappointment I will always take with me because it is the one and ONLY time my ex husband EVER said anything about my weight. And it was based only on his concern for my health. We left that day never even getting close to the start, let alone finishing.
Today was the second time I have done this 2 1/2 mile trail since that fateful day. With an elevation of over 200 feet up and then back down again, it certainly was not easy. My lungs hurt on the way up. And my knees hurt on the way down. For I am most assuredly not the child I once was hiking with my grandpa. I am a 41 year old gal STILL carrying too much weight. But I am far from that girl that cried on the stairs 12 years ago because she could not make it up them.
And I realized today that my desire for fitness runs much deeper than I thought and it’s different than I though. While I would love to someday be 145 pounds sitting in my size 8 jeans, don’t get me wrong, this journey started out with my desire to be fit. And it will end with me being fit.
There is no way that my parents, now in their late 60’s, could have walked this trail today. My parents are not fit at all. They have been very unhealthy in numerous ways for most of the last 15 years. And it made me sad today to think of all the little things in life they are missing.
There will be no hikes for them with THEIR grandchildren. And that is a very sad thing.
Viewing the world from up here gives you clarity and perspective.
I. Do. Not. Want. To. Be. Them. Ever.
Listen. I love my parents. I do. But their lifestyle and lack of passion for anything healthy hurts me. It hurts me FOR them.
No. I want to be like my grandparents. Active. Fit. Able to do a 2 1/2 mile hike or a 5 mile hike at ANY age. I want to STILL be doing these things I love to do well into my 70’s.
And no sooner had I finished with this emotional reflection when upon us came another couple on the trail. They were in their mid to late 60’s I estimate. And they were walking this trail too. Not huffing and puffing. Just hiking. No different than we were.
We exchanged pleasantries and they went on their way.
THAT’S what fitness looks like to me.
It’s not a size.
It’s not a placement in a race.
It’s not a competition.
The kind of fitness I want is LIFELONG.
I now know and understand what my fitness looks like. It looks like my grandparents.