Last December I was looking for something to challenge myself in 2017. There are always the same stand by resolutions of I will loose X amount of weight, I will exercise X amount of times a week, I will eat a cleaner diet, I will manage my finances better, or I will spend more time with loved ones, etc. I'm sure you have heard them all. Even though there is nothing wrong with these resolutions and they are important, I wanted something different. I was tired of the old stand by's of new years resolutions that I could never quite stick to. As I was doing some internet surfing I came across the 52 Hikes Challenge. Now this was something I could get into. I had to complete 52 hikes in 2017 that were over a mile long. I thought to myself, "this will be easy, I am hiking all the time, I can get all of these done way before the year is up with no problem."
I started a 52 Hikes Facebook Group for the area I live in to try to get motivation of others to complete 52 hikes. I had a good amount of people show interest and many of us started the year off strong spending a lot of time on the trails. As life goes and the warmer days started you would think i would have spent more time outside, but I was coaching my daughters softball, doing some home improvements, and there was end of school year activities and end of school year vacation. I had not got in as many hikes as I was hoping by halfway through the year. I thought, summer is coming and I will have plenty of time to hike. I'm not sure where the summer went, but I also did not get in as many hikes as I hoped. I observed that my group participation was dwindling.
During the summer months I received the honor of being picked as an ambassador for Hike Like a Woman. This gave me the motivation to get back out on the trail more by the end of the summer. In the fall I was fortunate enough to be able to start a local hiking group that focuses on getting woman outside more, called Hike Like a Woman Monadnock. This group really got me back on the trail and helped me get caught up on my hikes.
With today being the second week of December I can finally say that I finished the 52 Hike Challenge and logged over 170 miles on the trail this year. I feel extremely proud of myself, which is not easy for me to do. Over the past year I have done some pretty amazing hikes, explored some new trails, got outside more and saw parts of my community that I did not know existed. I did the majority of these hikes with my husband and daughter, providing good quality family time, but I also used some of these hikes as opportunities for some alone time and nature's therapy or time to connect with friends or woman in my hiking group. Within my Facebook Group three of us have completed the 52 hikes and I have two more that will be finishing soon. I am so proud of the five of us for sticking with it to the end.
As I am wrapping up this year, I am already thinking about next years challenge. Which will be to move a little more in the 365 Day Challenge. This challenge is to hike, walk, snowshoe, cross country ski, run or cycle 365 miles in 2018. Considering I only hiked about 170 miles this year, this is going to be a challenge. With the support of my husband, daughter, friends and my hiking group I am determined to do it. I encourage anyone else looking for a "different" new years resolution to sign up for either or both challenges.