When I was a kid, growing up in California and Utah, I quickly learned to hate going on hikes.
And today I took a hike -- and loved it.
Once I returned home, I did a little thinking and realized I didn't have to take Eddie with me to achieve that step goal (or at least get close to it), as long as I was willing to find a local park, beach, or trail and do the walking on my own.
Well, today I realized that I still do hate hikes, but -- and this is the big breakthrough -- only specific KINDS of hikes. I hated the double-digit-miles, strenuous group hikes that were part of my childhood in both the Camp Fire Girls and the church-sponsored camping trips for young women. Such hikes were usually conducted during the hottest part of the day, so we'd have to carry metal canteens with us, which were heavy, unwieldy, clanked against our hip bones and often leaked all over our clothes. The fastest hikers in the group were usually allowed to set the pace, which meant that the slowest of us (it meeee) never got a breather. The folks in front were told to stop every now and then to rest and let the slower hikers catch up, but as soon as the last person caught up with the group, everyone would immediately start off again. (And the unspoken idea among the adult leaders, I think, was that the slower hikers could stand to lose some weight anyway, so why should they get a break?) The parts of California and Utah where I grew up were arid, with little shade along the average hike, meaning that it was a deeply uncomfortable experience for anyone who was slow, fat, and sweated heavily. These hikes sucked all the fun out of the experience for me, and the minute I could avoid them, I stopped going.
At one point a little garter snake crossed my path. He slipped away as quickly as he could, so I didn't take his picture, but he was a beautiful deep brown with lengthwise yellow bands.