Rocky Mountain High
I’ve had the good fortune to spend the latter half of my summer in the western slope mountains of Colorado. If you haven’t been to this part of the country, I can’t even begin to describe the beauty that surrounds this part of the world. I feel like I wake up in a postcard everyday. With no less than fifty hikes to choose from within a 50 mile radius, gyms are nearly obsolete here. Instead of going to dinner and a movie or having cocktails or coffee on a first date, here, it’s a five-hour hike. Trust me, by the time you’re on the descent, you’ll have a pretty good idea whether or not you want to spend any more time with that person.
While I’ve gone on some hikes enjoying the company of others, I find my most inspiring ones are solo. Sometimes I listen to music – usually something pretty mellow. Either a little bit of country or some yoga inspired chanting or aspirational and devotional tunes. This genre reminds me that not only am I surrounded by the physical beauty of nature, but also the spirit that embodies my surroundings. I am immersed and connected. While I love driving beats and pop music for a studio workout, this is not a workout. This is an immersive experience. An opportunity to connect to the very gifts that allow me to move my body. A chance to feel overwhelming gratitude for those gifts with every uphill step and gasp for breath.
What I also find is no matter how challenged I am physically – and trust me – some of these hikes make CrossFit look like child’s play – I am inspired to continue. I don’t have to muster up drive or determination. It’s just there. Guiding instead of pushing me forward, nudging me to continue on, putting one foot in front of the other.
My question to you is this: how inspired are you by your daily activity or workouts? Do they rejuvenate you or deplete you? Remember, no matter what your scenery outside looks like, connecting to the Earth and Mother Nature is always a great way to take care of yourself – physically, mentally, emotionally. Can you, through your physical activity, cultivate a greater connection to your surroundings? While fall is certainly an optimal time of year in most parts of the country to get outside, remember, when our motives are soul driven, season is no excuse. Allow a need bigger than a nice butt or a pant size to move you and notice how enjoyable ‘exercise’ can be.