The hiking started innocently enough on a beautiful spring day. I got a message from my client that she just can’t turn her mood around: she was upset and life seemed sad and meaningless. We talked for a few minutes and an idea came to my mind. What if we go for a walk? She said yes and I went to pick her up.
We went to a local park that is about 10 minutes drive from where she lives. There is a lake and we walked around it. The sun was shining, birds and butterflies were flying around us and most of the trees were in bloom alongside with the tulips, daffodils and many more spring flowers. Everything was alive!
We didn’t talk too much, just walked and absorbed the beauty around us. As we were walking, she couldn’t resist and started to take a few pictures of the perfect nature. I also noticed that she started to smile. By the end of our walk, she was a different person. Her problems didn’t disappear but she was able to see them differently.
Change the way you look at things and the things you look at are going to change as Wayne Dyer says. He couldn’t be more right. We both went home that day happier.
I thought it was the end of the story but it was only the beginning of something powerful. A few days later she sent me a link about a 52 hikes challenge. The point is – as you can guess – that people take one hike per week for a year. She asked me what do I think and I was thrilled by the idea but mostly by the fact that she suggested it.
We went for our hike next week again. This time a friend of mine came with us and it was perfect. We had a meaningful conversation as we were walking and all 3 of us had a great time.
The three of us live in beautiful British Columbia but there is no shortage of places to go for a hike where ever you live. We are either on a hike or planning the next one and we grew to be super excited about this project. Our family and friends are very supportive, some of them thought it is just a quick idea and we will never be serious about it but we actually are, very much so!
We are on week #10 and learned a few things about ourselves, the challenge and the positive effects we all have because of the hikes. When we started it, it seemed like a good idea. As we progress it is not only good, it is a life-changing idea and here are the answers why:
1. We are so much fitter than at the beginning! Losing weight, eating healthier and drinking much more water. We also stopped drinking the occasional wine. We haven’t decided about these changes when we started we just spontaneously got to the point when we want the best for our amazing bodies that carry us so well in life by being healthy.
2. We started to listen more to our intuition. Once we were just about to start our hike when we noticed -can’t say it nicer – bear poop on the trail and some broken branches of a nearby tree. There was nobody around us and the forest was unusually quiet. We both had a strange feeling that there is a bear nearby. We started to walk but the feeling didn’t go away so we decided to turn around and choose another hike for that day. On the other trail, we didn’t have the same feeling and we finished the hike safely.
3. It is safer when other hikers are around and we often keep up with others. Hikers are very friendly people!
4. Yes, we ran into a bear once! Thankfully there was a conservation officer behind it and he signaled us to turn around. We were able to use another route and we were close to the parking lot! I’m not saying it wasn’t scary but so far everything worked out perfectly and we are getting more prepared and learn how to act in situations like this.
5. Hiking is pure mindfulness! We just take one step after the other, focusing – especially on a difficult trail – where we go. In the meantime, we listen to the birds, the wind and for safety reasons we talk. Or sing. Our last hike was not an easy one on Mount Seymour. We both started to sing Hallelujah when we saw the end of the trail. We laugh a lot too!. On this trail, we got covered with mud and we got bitten by several mosquitos but the view from the top of the mountain worth everything!!
6. It seems easy to go for hikes in summer but winter will be a challenge. But we determined to keep going to avoid the winter blues. We hiked only once in rain so far but we adopt the Danish attitude: there is no bad weather only not appropriate clothes! We will go snowshoeing for sure in the winter and we both look forward to that! &. Our appreciation to mother nature and our beautiful planet grows every week. We often pick up the occasional garbage of other people. (One thing I don’t understand: a dog has to go in the forest too, which is perfectly normal but why put it in a bag and leave it behind? What is the point? Isn’t it better to don’t bag it at all?
7. Our self-confidence grew a lot and we are very proud of the achievements we have! We can feel the effect in other areas of our life too. It benefits our work, family, and relationships. We are also improving at setting boundaries.
Isn’t it amazing? What all this have to do with life coaching? Life coaching in my interpretation means we find solutions that work for us. We go with our flow and get creative. Adjust. Deal with what we are experiencing and using powerful tools to change what doesn’t serve us any more or never did. This project we started is a perfect example of that. We hike ourselves happier every week and this is only the beginning!
Take up the challenge. Let me know how you feel.