Hiking in 2011

A while ago Abby at New Urban Habitat posted a link to this article about how children today are spending much less time outdoors than did their parents or grandparents. The average kid spends 7 hours and 38 minutes a day watching tv and playing on the computer.

I’ll Admit It

I spend a lot of time online these days, probably too much. Some of this is due to the unusually hot summer we had this year and the fact that it’s January now and rather chilly. When the weather is less extreme I do spend more time outdoors.

Of course, I’ve only been in our new home a few days. I don’t yet know the neighbourhood routines and while this seems like a great area to live in it does take a little while to find a new pattern of living. Drew has read about some animal attacks out here in B.C. due to the overlap in new suburban developments and the traditional territory of certain predators that are now beginning to run low on food.

I’m not worried about being attacked; I’m simply aware of my lack of local knowledge at the moment.

(Interestingly enough, I actually feel safer here in Canada than I did in the small Ohio town I lived in before moving north. Sidewalks and street lamps are maintained to a much higher standard, there are far more pedestrians and fewer people here believe that living in a good, Christian community means that one never has to think about these things or that bad things only happen to bad people.)

2011 Shift

At a certain point, though, all of these obstacles simply become excuses. When I am able to hike or walk at a park I come home invigorated body and soul. There’s something refreshing about being completely surrounded by trees for a few hours or even just taking a brisk walk or jog around the block. I know I should do these things more often. Rather than making it a New Year’s resolution that is quickly forgotten, though, I am committing myself to making small changes over time. I’m exercising indoors a few times a week for now in preparation for something I’m really looking forward to getting back into next year.

The photo on your right was taken somewhere in British Columbia. I want to find this place and even if I cannot find it if the trails we hike on are even half as rugged and beautiful as this one I’ll be thrilled!

My aunt and uncle are avid hikers and outdoors(wo)men. Listening to their stories about the various adventures they’ve had in the great outdoors is encouraging me to get back into at least the former activity. As a child my family spent a fair amount of time hiking on family-friendly trails and for several years we also spent most of our vacations going camping.

Over the next few months I’ll be doing research, slowly getting into better shape and spending less time staring at screens and figuring out where I want to hike first in the spring. At this point I’m uninterested in rock climbing…although a year ago I didn’t spend much time  thinking about hiking!

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