Yup! Last week's trip to Colorado was no exception. Once at the lovely elevation of 4900 feet, I was energized by the clean, dry air, the slower pace of my hosts' town, and, generally, the lack of any agenda beyond spending time with friends, sleeping, eating great food, crafting, reading and exercising. I may get around, but I'm sort of easy to please. Although it had been raining earlier in the week, Fort Collins served up some amazing Autumn weather which made the cashing in of my Southwest voucher worth it!
In this episode of Unencumber-ment, I'd like to highlight the benefits of hiking up a hill. Friends in Chicagoland would call this a mountain. If my friends in Colorado hear me call this a mountain, they slap me, (or at least stiff me a smoothie in the AM). Thousand foot climb? Hill. Period. One day I'll climb a real mountain in Colorado, but today I was huffing and puffing all the way, what with the effects of altitude combined with the incline necessary to achieve this summit of this winding trail.
|For our climbing friends? this and many others await…I stuck to the trail.|
Aside from the obvious health benefits of climbing a hill/trail, I'm so often reminded of the power of a shifting perspective for our soul and mind. As we climb, our bodies adjust, just as all of our senses adapt to the changing environment. Wherever we go, being able to look forward at a peak that we're climbing, looking back at a trail as it winds itself down below us affords a puzzle for our mind to work. Even shifting from hot sun to cool shade allows us to momentarily adjust and adapt. These skills we can hone in any surrounding, but for me the fresh-ness of an ascent reminded me of the joy of being able to look out over a valley at the summit of our walk.
|looking for rattlers|
|Near the summit, looking across vast forestland and hills|
|The Unencumbered Woman does it again.|