Trail therapy

You can’t really appreciate the beauty and quality of trails we have up here in my neck of the woods until you get out on them yourself. And while that might seem like a no-brainer, “we have great trails” is something that gets tossed out there regularly by people who’ve never been on them. I know, because in a way I’m one of those people. Not that I hadn’t been on the trails at all, because I have, but there were miles of them I hadn’t tried. They were just colored squiggly lines on a map. And when it comes to maps, I am not an expert. “You can’t really get lost” doesn’t apply to me.

I’m spending my un-runstreak getting to know the trails a little better. (Note: As for my non-running, let me just make clear that I’m not suddenly anti-running. For me, it seems to be a good choice for my body and mind.) I’m trying to tackle a new one every time I go out, or at least venture down a new section or two. It’s not always easy to tell if you’re still on the trail, but I’ve only gotten stuck once and had to turn around and backtrack. Not bad for the girl who has trouble with direction.

It was especially important I get out and breathe in some nature today after having a frustrating morning, topped off by locking myself out of my car as I got out of my car at the trailhead. (Short story: broken door handle after super cold temperatures, can only enter from passenger’s side, thought I had my keys in my hand when I got out of the car.)

Yep. Definitely broken.

After waiting for awhile for Scott to come rescue me with the spare set of keys, I considered bailing on the planned snowshoe for time’s sake. I eventually decided I’d be worth more to everyone if I went back to my desk a little less tightly wound. It was the wise choice.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m going to miss these lunchtime snowshoe adventures when the snow is gone.

I wanted to stay underneath these trees for the rest of the day.
I wanted to stay underneath these trees for the rest of the day.

It’s not always easy to slow down for me, especially when it comes to exercise. If I am going to work out, I want to break a sweat. I want to feel like I’m pushing myself and making the most of my time. When I think of a good workout, I normally think tempo runs or intervals. I think of playing hockey with only two or three lines.

I don’t normally think of snowshoeing along at a snail’s pace.

Fully appreciating the beauty of fresh powder. I get it now.
Fully appreciating the beauty of fresh powder. I get it now.

But I know the effort heart rate-wise is on par with a slow run, so even though I’m not clipping along quickly, I’m doing something. And there are perks. On days like today that are warmer—meaning sloppy roads—I don’t have to think about where I’m going to go, if the sidewalks are plowed, or if I brought the right pair of shoes. I’m also able to enjoy what’s around me instead of putting so much effort into looking down and watching the trail or road so I don’t fall.

At the risk of sounding hippy dippy, today I really felt like nature had a restorative effect on me.

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Or maybe I’m just hoping the snow on those branches doesn’t fall on me.