Are you feeling like spending a lazy weekend on the sofa? Nothing wrong with that. But maybe you wish you could muster up the motivation to get outside a bit more, go for a walk, a run or even a hike? Check out these three badass women mountaineers’ stories, and I’m sure you’ll have a hard time finding any more excuses to hide inside.
1. Lucy Walker – Up the Matterhorn with Cake and Champagne
Born in 1836, Lucy Walker is credited to be the first woman to make the Alps her playground. She first picked up hiking when her doctor told her to get more active to fight her rheumatism. That’s right, she suffered from a disease that would cause her horrible pain in her joints and to fix it she started climbing mountains. As you do.
I’ve recently picked up running again. The stress is on “again” because I dig out my running shoes about once every year, start running for a few weeks, feel my endurance getting better. Then my knee starts hurting, I stop, and the shoes go back in the closet. Rinse and repeat.
To be honest, living in a city, running along roads full of traffic, breathing car fumes… it’s a bit of a turn-off. Recently I came across trail running. Like running, on hiking trails? I got curious. I love hiking and being out in nature, so maybe this was the trick that would keep me running for longer than 2 weeks? That would actually maybe even make me enjoy running?
Images of trail runners look like the sport is only for the ultra-hard though. For those guys that are bored running marathons, so they run up a mountain instead. While I’m a frequent running newb, I’m still a newb, as in running 5k is kind of a big deal. Decidedly, non-ultra.
Is trail running something I can even attempt? And how do I go about it? I embarked on a little research asking myself all the stupid questions I had and trying to find some answers.
When I was a kid, my parents used to take me hiking. Each year, for a week at least. Sometimes two. I didn’t really care, because there were always other children around to play with and you just kind of go along with what your parents do anyway.
When I was turning from a kid to a teenager though, the whole affair started to get decidedly uncool. Why were we walking up hills for no reason? Why couldn’t I just stay in and listen to music? And good grief, why did those hiking boots have to be so ugly?
It was then that I decided that hiking was for old people only and that anybody with any sense of what was cool could clearly find better ways to spend their time.
I held on to that belief for way too long. It wasn’t until my late twenties that I decided to give hiking another shot. I was having a bit of a crappy time and desperately needed to get out of town.
Untrained as I was, I went on a trip to the mountains with my best friend and we hiked our way up and across some pretty challenging paths. It. was. awesome.
My anxiety couldn’t keep up with me, and I just mercilessly left it behind somewhere on the mountain. Coming out the other end of the trip, I felt sore but happy, and super proud of what we had accomplished. Clearly, those old people had known all along what they were doing. So what is it then, that makes hiking such an amazing experience?