Here’s an edited transcript of this installment of Amy’s Outdoor Diary. Listen to the episode on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.
If you know anything about me, you know I can’t resist a challenge. I mean hello, that’s why we’re here to start with, right? In 2017 I challenged myself to spend at least 20 consecutive minutes outside every day for a year. It’s been more than four years. I liked the challenge so much I kept going.
Still, today, I find new challenges irresistible. Inside, outside, fitness or even TV watching. If you can convince me it’s a good idea at all, I simply cannot say “no.”
Now let’s talk about Karla Amador. When I was building Season 4 of Humans Outside, which started in early September, I went hunting for experts who could talk about the nuts and bolts, ins and outs of keeping habits. What were their secrets? What’s their advice? I was especially looking for people who have outdoor habits. So imagine my delight when I stumbled upon Karla and HER challenge.
It’s been years since Karla had the idea for the 52 Hike Challenge — and the idea is a simple one. Go on a hike once a week, every week for a year. She wanted to get herself out in nature. And since she started, hundreds and hundreds of people have joined her, signing up on her website and doing the challenge too.
For obvious reasons this sounded very familiar. I mean, hello, we have our own outdoor year challenge. So ours is doses of nature every day and hers is bigger doses every week. Same concept, same goal.
I was delighted when Karla joined me on the podcast to talk about her 52 Hike Challenge, which you can hear in Season 4 of Humans Outside. And the more I learned about it, the more I realized I needed to do this. I can fit a hike big or small into my outdoor time each week for sure. And so I am.
Starting in September, I’m going to do a year of one hike once a week, sometime between Monday and the following Sunday, which is the week schedule I use for my run training. Karla’s rules are simple: hike at least a mile once a week. That’s it.
Last week was my first hike for the challenge and I decided to take my kids up a small mountain type feature in our town called the Bodenburg Butte on what turned out to be a very rainy day. But it was the perfect hike for the start of this challenge, because a hike up the Butte also happened to be the very first outside thing I did with my kids the very first day in 2017. I thought I might see what happened if I went outside every day in the summer, no matter the weather. Spoiler alert: what happened was that I liked it. But we’ve been over that.
So here’s my question: as you do your outdoor time each day, will you also join me for a hike each week? It doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to be big. In the winter my hikes are going to include a pair of Cross Country skis or snowshoes because that’s just the situation here. You could even go on urban hikes, wandering through the city.
But as Karla talks about in our episode, this isn’t about WHERE you hike, although hiking in the woods, under trees or through mountains is spectacular and beneficial if you can get there. This is about HIKING. This is about DOING it. This is about, like so many things, the intentionality it takes to say we are hiking once a week and we are doing it for a year.
I usually record these episodes over the weekend before their Tuesday release, but I am recording this one even earlier as I prepare for a trip with my friends for our own hiking for a few days. I’m hoping the weather holds because there’s a big peak I desperately want to get up this weekend. I can see this mountain top from my kitchen window in the winter when the leaves are gone from the trees in my backyard, and it drives me crazy that I’ve never been up there. It’s taunting me. I actually don’t know the name of it — I just call it Pointy Peak.
If you check out my instagram feed, hopefully you’ll see photos and maybe even a video of me at the top of Pointy Peak. And even if you don’t, I know you’ll see photos of my adventures.That’s because I go outside every day, rain or shine, and I post a picture of it on Instagram and Facebook at Humans Outside. You can see those photos and share pictures of your own outdoor time by tagging humansoutside365. Until next time, I’ll see you out there.