Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Trail Therapy

There is something about being out in the woods.

There is something about being out in the woods and just in your own company.

For me, it is definitely a mental health thing.

I don't just enjoy my time when I go hiking, I need to go hiking.

Sometimes I forget that.

I haven't been out for a hike in almost a month.  There's been a lot of life happening lately which makes it hard to take the time.  Or I've just been so tired and stressed that I haven't wanted to go.

Saturday I had a hike to do.  Conveniently so did my hubby (thanks coach!)  Joe actually had a three hour run/hike.  Mine was only supposed to be two hours.

We took the dog along. Finn loves his trail time too.  I didn't want to decide where we were going to hike, so I made Joe pick.  He decided that we would park at the Oak Creek gate and hike up to Dimple Hill from that side.  Then when we got back to the car he would run out to the Bald Hill parking lot and I would meet him there.  That way he could get his three hours done.

We don't hike that area as much as we do the trails by the Saddle the most.  So it was nice to see a different part of the forest.

Joe had the dog with him and did his own thing.  He ran parts and then would double back or he would end up behind me and eventually catch up.  So there was a big chunk of the hike that I was by myself.

I usually don't mind hiking by myself.

This hike was different.

I didn't want to go.

I have been so stressed and been really struggling on many levels.   Basically very overwhelmed with a lot of things going on.  Not all bad, just a lot all at once.  Every time I think I have a handle on things it feels like I get whacked with something else.

I have gained weight.

I haven't been as consistent with my workouts as usually am.

I feel out of shape and slow.

So we began to hike and I feel out of shape and slow.  Joe is walking in front of me and I can't keep pace with him.  Or I can't muster up the energy to even try.  Not really sure which.

There was a long chunk of time where I was by myself.  Trudging up the hill.  I had forgotten how steep and constantly up this trail was.  I really wasn't sure if I could get all the way to the top, that's how far down my belief in myself has gotten.

I had all these thoughts bouncing around in my head about all the things going on.

All my worries.

All my frustrations.

All my insecurities.

Suddenly it all bubbled over and I was trudging up the hill and basically bawling.  Not just little tears or me getting weepy about something.  I'm talking snot and a few sobs here and there.  A real ugly cry if you will.

It seemed like I cried for a really long time.  In reality it was only a few minutes.

But it is amazing how much better I felt when I was done.

The alone time and the peacefulness of the woods were just what I needed.

I made it to Dimple Hill at the top of the trail.  Joe and the dog were with my the last 1/2 mile or so.  I had gone from questioning whether I could even get to the top to just making it happen.  I felt more like my old self.  Able to do hard things.
It was good to remember that I need to let it all out once in awhile.  Doing this on the trail has the advantage of not having to burden anyone with the hot mess that is sometimes me.

It was good to remember that the trail is good for my soul.

My problems, worries and stresses do not compare to the vastness of God's creation.

I'll keep plugging away at handling all the things in my life better.  But I will remember that a HUGE part of my self-care is getting my time on the trail.

This girl needs her trail therapy!