My husband, Rich, and I got the boys hiking when they were little. We started on short trails and small mountains in the Adirondacks to give them a taste of the gifts they could receive from the experience of being outdoors. We moved up from there.
When they hiked their first Adirondack high peak about five years ago, I remember Ben charging ahead of us in excitement and then Ian, following close behind, yelling out to him “Do you see beautiful views?” Priceless.
We got serious about hiking as a family a few years ago. We had hiked many smaller mountains and a few high peaks by then and knew I wanted hiking to play a bigger part of my life. That’s when I decided to hike “46 by 46” years old. I’m 45 and have just five more to summit (and in another 10 months or so I turn 46). Ben has 10 more peaks to go. Our goal is for me to rehike some mountains early this summer, have Ben catch up to me, and then finish the 46 together later this summer (weather and conditions permitting). His brother and dad are a few peaks behind and hope to finish in another year or two or three. The mountains will wait.
Peace and More
I find I need to be outside. It gives me a sense of fulfillment, peace, and joy that I can’t get anywhere else but that I can bring with me to other parts of my life. Hiking has taught me about my limits, about all that my body can actually do, about being at the mercy of powers greater than myself, and about being one small, moving piece of this turning world.
It’s also taught me to look for what can stay constant inside of me regardless of conditions. Rain or shine, snow or sweat, alone or with others—can I just move through the moment and do the best I can? I try. Family and the outdoors—they mean the most to me. And when I can combine them I feel like I am on top of the world.