Challenge, Hiking, Hiking with baby, Pregnancy, Top Trips

I did it

I’ve been trying to identify just why hiking hasn’t seemed appealing to me this summer, and I think it all boils down to that thing with depression that makes even the tiniest bump in the road look like an absolutely massive hurdle. We have to pack our gear. Drive to a trailhead. Hope and pray to the mountain gods that we’ll actually be able to find parking, because all the easily accessible trails are so damn crowded these days. Potentially endure a very loud, public tantrum if the young hiker in our crew refuses to ride in the carrier. Risk another injury like last month when that young hiker tripped and faceplanted onto a rock, chipping several teeth and knocking her front tooth loose. So it’s all just a mess of depression-induced anxiety (over minuscule things that must seem completely ridiculous to those who have never experienced this sort of mental state before) that makes me want to just stay home instead, because it would be so much easier.

Mirror Lake

…Except that I know, I know so well, that I need this. Hiking is a huge part of my identity, and I don’t feel quite like myself without it. So a couple of weeks ago, I decided to just force myself out there. I needed to show myself that hey, traffic and crowds and loud car rides and toddler tantrums happen, and somehow life goes on.

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake

But actually, it was the perfect day in the mountains with my family. Nora amused herself the entire drive by reading books and calling her grandparents on her pretend phone, we pulled into the trailhead with lots of parking spots to spare, Nora was easily coaxed into the carrier with the help of bunny crackers, no one got hurt, and we spent a very, very long lunch break on the little beach by Mirror Lake. We swam, we found excellent sticks and several frogs, we munched on sooo many huckleberries, and Nora was convinced that the peaks above the lake were “man and woman hugging and singing Lava” from her favorite song.

Mirror Lake Mirror Lake

So this was what I spent an entire month avoiding. Harrumph.

Mirror Lake

Since I have now decided that it is fall (because I’m more than ready to see the ass end of this particular season). this ended up being our only mountain hike this summer. And I’m surprisingly okay with that. I’m sure we’ll get out on some autumn hikes, and I’m also sure that the mountains will still be there next year, when I will hopefully be feeling better and have the mental fortitude to adventure with two tiny humans. Gulp.

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake

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  • Reply Houston August 30, 2016 at 6:36 am

    I understand exactly what you are saying… good for you for getting out thete! Best wishes for a beautiful autumn with those you love!

  • Reply RitaQ August 30, 2016 at 6:50 am

    So love your photographic capture of your hiking experiences. Happy for you conquering the angst and enjoying the moments.

  • Reply Dianna August 30, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Beautiful pictures and story. I too struggle with the motivation to get back out on the trail for a run or a hike. I had my 1st baby, daughter Grace, in February (at age 45!) got over zealous when I got the go ahead from my OB to run at 6 weeks postpartum (c-section) and inevitably wore myself out and lost confidence. Running and hiking are my happy place and without it I too have slipped into a depression, that vicious cycle of not going and then the loathing that follows. I wish you the best on your journey and your pregnancy. I look forward to recalling your words of inspiration the next time I have trouble getting out the door.

  • Reply Lisa August 30, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    I could really relate to everything in your post! I am so glad you got out there and enjoyed it and conquered the “fear”. Sometimes we build things up in our minds and it’s worse than it really is in reality.

    I love that you got out there and shared your photos, they are always inspiring to me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–reading how you guys showed Nora the amazing outdoors basically from birth made me want to do that with my little guy. I hope we can do it soon.

  • Reply Anne October 8, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    Had a lot of the same issues in 2016, but work-related instead of depression (so hard to tell the difference, really). It seems impossible to get over that hurdle of the drive and traffic when you’re just exhausted after your work week, even when it’s part of your identity. And if my husband is home and I can spend time with him instead, it’s doubly hard. I lost running this year due to injury, and I feel like I lost hiking due to work. It sucks. :(

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