Want to walk?

The text message arrived: It looks kind of cold tomorrow, but if anyone would like to join us on a trail walk at our place between 9-11 let me know. We will go around 2 miles, kid friendly.

I quickly respond: Yes! I’m coming to walk, both Isaac and I. I need to do more hikes (doing 40 hikes before I turn 40 in August) and I still have a ways to go!

To clarify, I still have 34 more hikes to walk before I turn 40 on August 25th. Flipping through my hiking journal I see the last time I took a hike was at the end of January. There were two months of no hikes. I, of course, thought about taking a hike, but there always seemed to be something that got in the way. It was too cold or muddy. I didn’t want to drive too far. The kids were crabby. Other commitments kept popping up. So two months passed and the days kept getting closer to August.

I’ve never thought I wouldn’t finish the 40 hikes, but I have been worried I’d be hiking a few times a day, every day leading up to my birthday. And probably stressing myself out over this challenge that is meant to inspire and remind me of my strength.

So when the text from my friend Sophie arrived, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. And I’ll be honest that if she hadn’t texted, I wouldn’t have hiked. It was cold. It was dreary. We had to wear long underwear and hats in APRIL. But knowing that friends would be waiting and walking with us, I had no excuse not to walk.

Sophie and I, along with our three boys, took to the trails looking for mushrooms and marveling at the snow on the ground. We listened to the woodpeckers and threw rocks in the creek. We hiked up a hill and enjoyed trail mix and fruit leathers on a log. We talked about summer plans, living in a new place, making friends, and the power of invitations and saying yes.

Surprisingly, I didn’t feel cold or mind the mud. The crunching of leaves underfoot and the laughter of our kids was a welcome chorus. This hike, 7 out of 40, reminded me that this challenge of mine is just as much about learning from the people along the way as it is about the walking.

So, who’s ready to go on a hike?

// If you like to take walks, sign up for my newsletter, Walk and Talk, to receive your own guide to take a contemplative walk. And then tell me - what’s been a favorite walk of yours?

// Interested in learning more about my 40 hikes for 40 years, check out this post!