I’m Coming for You May…

So I am a bit behind because the start of this month was a Derby whirlwind. If you live in Louisville, you understand. We are nine days into the month of May and the days are finally longer and warmer, and this has me feeling very motivated to set some new goals for myself this month.

Accomplishing new goals shouldn’t be something we save for unachievable New Year’s Resolutions. Instead they should be challenging yet achievable. We should also spend time editing these monthly and making changes for the things that do/don’t work for us while striving to be better. Lately, I have been focused on making time for the things that make me happy without guilt, which is something I want to continue.  So for the rest of the year, I plan on picking three goals to work toward each month.

Giving Gratitude

Being grateful makes you happier – its science (I think). This month I want to write down three things I am grateful for each day. I also want to show my gratitude for someone every week. I know… I know… I am a big cornball (in case you didn’t already know) but I think this is important. I have a lot to be thankful for in my life and I want to start spending a little time acknowledging that.

Running Weekly

Now here is a commitment that I have tried to stick with time and again. I always feel better when I make time for exercise, but it is so hard to motivate myself to do it. I really have no excuse since there’s a gym in my neighborhood and a park 5 minutes away. Instead of saying I am going to work out everyday (we all know that won’t happen), I want to make a commitment to 3x a week. On these three days I will get a good run in and whatever else I feel like doing at the time. I want this goal to be less about how I look and more about how I feel. The scale tends to discourage me these days. Being a woman, I feel I put too much pressure on myself to be a certain size. I have struggled with the fact that my womanly body has changed quite a bit since my early 20’s and for me its time to accept and embrace the curves (wanted or not). My goal here is really just to feel stronger and healthier.

Yoga/Meditation

I have really let this habit go over the last month, which makes me sad because I was making a lot of progress. That’s life though… and mine has been busy. I am going to  recommit myself to my at home practice, and I plan on doing this around 5x a week.

I am really just hoping this will help me kick start a happy, healthy summer. Summer is definitely my jam, and I am hoping this will be another one filled with adventure, new friends and fun. What are some of your goals for this summer?

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Why I Hike Alone

One question I consistently get from family and friends is, “Why do you hike alone?” and “Don’t you know how dangerous that is?” and the answer is there are many reasons I do, and I am fully aware of the risks involved. Hiking alone can be dangerous and I would never suggest it for just anyone. In fact, as many of my friends know I took a little spill on the ice this week.

 

*Before and after my little accident. 

Luckily my fall wasn’t too bad since I was out alone and pretty far from my car. For me the rewards just outweigh the risks by far.

Empowerment

Being able to complete a challenging hike on my own gives me a sense of confidence like I have never know before. Learning to use a compass, map and my own sense of direction while navigating miles on my own fills me with an amazing sense of accomplishment. This is something that I would never have had the confidence to do alone a few years ago. And these empowering hikes have pushed me to see what other goals I can accomplish (hopefully one day the AT). I am woman – hear me ROAR!

Anxiety Relief

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I have coped with an anxiety disorder since my early teen years. It has been one of those struggles that has at times seemed like I am in an exhausting, unending battle with my mind. One thing gives me relief more than anything else, and that is spending time alone in nature. There is something about getting back to the basics – no makeup, hair in a ponytail, no internet/cell phone and just fresh air, dirt, and me and my dog. I LOVE time with my friends and I love staying connected, but sometimes I need to just take the time to unplug and appreciate the beauty around me. I need this time to unwind and remember that tomorrow is a new day; just breathe and let things go.

Gratitude

When I am alone in the woods or in the eastern hills of Kentucky I often find myself in awe of the beauty that surrounds me. I feel so grateful for my body, my life and the experiences I have and I just feel so joyful. Joyful isn’t a word I normally use, but it seems like the only word that truly conveys the feeling of happiness that fills my heart. I sometimes even catch myself just smiling alone for no reason. Being grateful doesn’t mean everything in your life is perfect – there are so many things I could improve on – but I acknowledge what things I do have in my life instead of constantly seeking the next best thing. I am grateful.

What empowers you? What brings you joy and makes you feel grateful? I would love to hear from you.

Please note: Although I enjoy taking a hike and enjoying the solitude, I always let someone know where I am going, distance and expected completion time and I always go prepared. I have a pack filled with emergency gear, extra water and I always study my routes prior to hitting the dirt. I also know how to read a topographical map in case I get lost – pretty important before setting out alone.