My experience may be extremely similar to many other’s. I was introduced to “the outdoors” before I can even remember, literally. My mom has always told stories about this camping trip, or the time we went fishing in North Carolina when I was 3, but one of these stories sticks in my mind more than the rest. Living in central South Carolina, there aren’t that many mountains or great hikes in general, however, in the Upstate/North Carolina there are a ton of awesome hiking trails. One of these, which I frequent at least once or twice a year, is Table Rock. The story is a simple one, and one that I can only tell from my family’s accounts. When I was a baby, no more than 2 years old, my family decided to go hike Table Rock. They couldn’t leave me behind, so they took me! Now Table Rock isn’t the most difficult hike, but it has a lot of uphill section. And a LOT of stairs. My mom strapped me on her back, and they took off. How she (as well as my dad) lugged me the 3.6 miles up the mountain, and the 3.6 miles back, I have no clue.
I was blessed to have a family who loves being outdoors. My love and enjoyment for nature and being outside was never a choice that I had to really make, it was always there for me. My parents would take my brother and I camping probably once a month and do all kinds of hikes on weekends. My brother and I never really had to be coaxed off of a computer or a gaming system (until high school at least), we always wanted to be outside. We always liked to run around in the creek behind our house, jump on the trampoline, or just ride our bikes around the neighborhood.
I mentioned the “until high school” part, because even though I grew up with being outside, as technology progressed and it became easier to just sit inside and watch TV, play video games, or play on my iPhone. We live in a time where technology is constantly being improved and most of it is for the better. Lives are being saved, communication is easier, business on a global scale can be done by almost anyone, even a small business in your home town. However, one of the negatives of this, is what I described earlier. The temptation of watching Grey’s Anatomy or Big Bang instead of going out and hiking or even doing something as simple as setting up your hammock and stargaze. It is still a struggle for me today, to get myself to get up and go do things. To go explore the woods behind my apartment complex or to hike the trail that runs through town.
Don’t get me wrong, technology isn’t a bad thing, even for getting out and enjoying nature and exercising. You have products like FitBit, you can use Google to look up hiking trails near you, how to get started in whatever you’d like. There are even apps like Geocaching that inspire people and push them to go outside and hike around.
As for myself, as I talked about earlier and in some of my other posts, I hope to use this new year as a new start to my relationship with the outdoors. I want to go out more and hike, backpack, and camp. I want to go to new places, hike different areas, and kayak different rivers and lakes. I want to experience new things and see different sights. Overall, I suppose I hope to push myself to get out there, try new things, and enjoy every bit of them. As always, thank you for reading!