Running Shoes and Hiking Boots

I strapped on my running shoes this morning. Feeling my feet on the pavement and trail-runningfinding the trail has helped bring me peace. It is a time where I can focus solely on myself; on my body and mind with no other distractions.

When I was a teenager my mom wrote a story about me. It was about the different shoes I’ve worn throughout my lifetime. I had my baby shoes, dancing shoes, running shoes; all figuratively speaking. She used my shoes as a description to show how I have grown to be strong and independent, how through each stage of my life I have changed my shoes in order to face whatever challenges have crossed my way. Even now when I read that story it evokes very strong emotion within me, and reminds me that I can overcome anything.

I’ve never been a “runner” per-say. I’ve always preferred my hiking boots until recently. With the new challenges that I have faced in the last six months, since the diagnosis, I have changed my shoes once again. My hiking boots will not get dusty. In fact they are still well used. But my running shoes are helping me cope. They are enabling me to become stronger mentally and physically.

This is what I need for now. I am trying to listen to my body, to take the advice that I so easily dole out to others. In times of stress and trauma it is very important to take care of oneself, to not let yourself fall by the wayside. For now my Mom is growing stronger, but she still has her bad days. We are not sure what the outcome will be. I am taking it all one day at a time, and today I strapped on my running shoes.

a new summer adventure

This isn’t your typical summer adventure, at least not my typical summer adventure.

One month ago SS and I packed everything we own into a 10′ x10′ cube, minus camping/backpacking gear, clothes and a few other items. We loaded the truck to the gills and headed to northern Idaho. We had a beautiful trip along the way, but I’ll save that for another post.

“North Idaho?” you ask…other than its breathtaking mountains and pristine lakes and miles of hiking, north Idaho is where my Mom lives. Six months ago my Mom was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer. Thus far she is battling it well. There have been some very hard times, and the difficult times are not yet behind us.

I have experienced an emotional roller coaster, especially not being by her side to “help”. Although if I had been here the whole time, I’m not sure what I could have done. So, now SS and I are here. We are doing housework, yard work, and offering as much emotional support as possible.

I am living in the mountains, living by the lake and trying to enjoy every moment of beauty I can. I do have some trips planned, one week long backpack trip into the Selway Bitteroot area. I can’t wait for that and then to share it with you all.

I have chosen to share this on Suniechick instead of starting a new blog, or keeping it to myself for a few reasons. I know that I am not alone in going through this ordeal, but I am hoping by sharing my experiences; what I do to cope, reduce stress etc. that I can perhaps help another woman of the outdoors deal with this and not feel so alone, because there are many days that I do feel very alone. Also, my Mom is the outdoor woman that inspired me to become the woman that I am. She taught me to love the trees and respect all that nature has to offer.

Fall Hiking Tips for the Wild Outdoor Woman

Autumn has begun to set upon us turning the outdoors into a new world. Leaves are shedding their greens for hues of golds and reds. Slowly they’ll fall to the ground and temperatures will begin to drop. Fortunately, this does not signal the end of hiking season. Fall is my favorite time of year to grab the camera and head for the hills, or the desert. Here are a few tips to make the trip even more enjoyable.

* Layers are a must! Cooler mornings still lead to warm afternoons. It is important to stay comfortable. By using a polypro, fleece, and rain shell you’ll be doing fine!

* An early start will let you get the most out of your day. Sunset creeps up on us much sooner this time of year.

* Be prepared, have proper gear. Rain, snow, heat, Mother Nature can throw anything at you.

* Sun screen and sunglasses are still important, any time of year. Just because you’re not hot doesn’t mean the sun isn’t shining down on you.

* Snacks are a must! Trailmix, jerky, whatever your favorite, keeping up your energy makes for a longer hike. This includes staying hydrated.

* Be spontaneous! Nothing is better than a spur of the moment jaunt outdoors.

* Be respectful, as always, of where you’re traveling.

* Bring a friend. Lone hiking is wonderful, but sharing it can be just as joyous.

There are many other things you can do to make your outdoor adventure more enjoyable. These will help you get on your way.