“I am learning to trust the journey, even when I do not understand it.” – Mila Bron
It was about a year ago when I first discovered my love for hiking. I had just finished my fourth year of teaching and yet had never had a summer off. I savored every grading and lesson plan free moment…for about two weeks- and that’s when boredom struck! I decided to go for a walk and explore my new neighborhood. As each day passed I seemed to wander farther and farther away, hiking miles after miles. Yet somehow, I was still, completely unaware of the Minnesota Hiking Club.
Fast forward to this year when I discovered the Hiking Club. It is this wonderful thing where you get “credit” for your hikes. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love hiking-the peace and quiet, the wildlife, and of course, the incredible views- but seriously, why not get a badge while you are at it?! It goes like this: Minnesota State Parks have 68 designated trails that are deemed “hiking club” trails. As you hike along the designated trails you collect passwords and collect cumulative miles. Once you reach certain “mile”stones, you earn patches/badges. You can stop by any state park office and purchase a Hiking Club kit for $14.95. Each kit comes with a booklet where you can write down your passwords and keep track of your mileage.
Now it wasn’t until I was hiking my second trail that I had my epiphany. So often I think we get stuck in this race that we call life. We put time and energy into one thing, complete it, and then we are on to the next. We graduate high school, go to college. We graduate college and get a job. We get job and ask ourselves, “What’s next?” Nowadays it seems absolutely terrifying if there isn’t a “next”. It’s almost like we don’t know how to just enjoy life. We get so focused on career and relationship goals that we don’t set any goals for ourselves. That’s why I decided to set a goal…for me. Just me. Over the next two years and nine months I am going to complete ALL 68 Minnesota Hiking Club trails! AKA one of those “do this before I turn 30” goals.
I’m excited to have something that is mine. Something that excites and rejuvenates me. Now, it’s not a life changing or momentous goal, but I don’t know that everything in life needs to be. For now I’m just going to enjoy the journey!