I just want to spend the summer hiking and kayaking.

A blog I follow had a “Fitness Thesis” of sorts at the beginning of the year, and I’m not sure which it was, or I would link it, and I’m not really even sure that the author titled it that. Despite my lack of attention to details, I did find the idea interesting, so I’ve been trying to postulate my own fitness manifesto, and I’ve concluded that the title would be: “I just want to spend the summer hiking and kayaking”. 

I was a weak child growing up, allergic to everything (except bees!), always sick, and bless my clumsy heart I couldn’t walk somewhere without falling, much less run. This deterred me from outside pursuits for much of my life. It’s only been recently that I have discovered how much I love being outside; it feels so quintessential to my life now that I can’t even imagine my life without the love of the outdoors. To speak emotively, this is a nice feeling. I have found something in this universe that I truly love wholeheartedly, and when you’ve been given that, whether it’s love of a person, activity, religion, or nature, it’s wonderful. 

As far as my fitness manifesto, I think it’s an interesting idea as a guide point. Why am I spending my time pursuing this? What am I trying to achieve? How will it make my life better? 

Time. As far as why I’m spending my time doing this, it is exactly what my imaginary title would be. I really do just want to spend the summer hiking and kayaking. Those are two activities that I love doing, and the more fit I am, the easier and longer I can pursue those tasks. I went kayaking this past summer with some friends of mine and I don’t remember the exact length (Seems like it was 3-5 miles? Maybe?), but it took us about three hours and I remember us being surprised that it took that long. After three hours, I was spent. Granted, we did kayak on the Harpeth River only a couple weeks after the biggest flood in recorded history…so the bottom was unsettled and there was lots of debris to work around, that may have been a mistake. Really though, I want to be able to go consistently for hours doing a task/activity that I love and as of now, my body isn’t able to go as far as my mind. 

Achieve. I have lots of long term desires and goals…it’s something that I think most people define me by, but one that runs the deepest is to hike the Grand Canyon, down and up. From everything I’ve read, this is a brutal (and expensive) experience, but I want it. I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, and I’m sure that one look over the edge and this acrophobic would probably quickly change her mind. It’s probably one of those things that I’ve just set in my mind as the pinnacle, and I know there would be more interesting and safer hikes (like ones not in the desert), but this is what I want to achieve one day. Most women my age use the phrase “I’m not getting any younger” to describe their need to bear a child. Speaking as someone who knows women who use this phrase sincerely, meaningfully, and desperately—I can honestly say I feel the same way about this.

Better. Being better is what sums up my 2011 goals this year; I want to be better in a lot of things. My fitness pursuits, however, will help make my life better simply because when you do things you love, you are happier. The more fit I am, the more I will be able to do the things that make me most happy in life. There are undeniable facts about improvements in physical and mental health caused by a fitness routine, but honestly if they didn’t make me happier, I wouldn’t be doing them. 

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