This article is a re-post from one I wrote for the More Of Me To Love Website. or more details, visit www.moreofmetolove.com
The Curvy Chicks Guide to Hiking
Have you ever wanted to stroll along a trail or climb up a mountain? Hiking is the perfect pastime. Of course, we all know that it is great exercise. It is not only good for cardio and strength conditioning, but also for balance and coordination.
However, hiking is also great for the mind and spirit. It can clear your head of worries, stress and anxiety as well as give you a huge boost in confidence. I guarantee you that nothing feels better than reaching the top of a climb and looking back to enjoy what you have accomplished. Hiking will get you in touch with strength and pride that you never knew you had.
Hiking is an activity that can be enjoyed by everyone. However, many curvy people shy away from hiking due to concerns, both physical and emotional. Here are some basic guidelines that will help you overcome those worries and get out on the trail.
First, remember the basic tenants to responsible hiking.
- Always tell someone where you are going
- Research the trail
- Take a friend
- Never leave your car without the 10 Essentials.
Simply put- food, water, rain gear, warm clothes, fire starter,
compass and map, first aid kit, head lamp, knife, and emergency contact info.
A simple Google search will list the 10 Essentials in more details for you. Just remember that being prepared on the trail is the best way to assure a pleasant trip.
When asked why they don’t hike, many round women will say that they are embarrassed or ashamed. Between the gasping for breath and sweating, they see hiking as an activity that points out their weaknesses, rather than their strengths. However, one can combat these feeling of inadequacy by putting a plan in place.
Select a Good Partner
The first thing to think about is your hiking partner. Does he/she make you feel good, strong and capable? Or slow and anxious? Just because you love and cherish someone, does not mean that they are the perfect person to hike a trail with. In general, male hikers tend to be more goal oriented than female hikers. For that reason, they tend to be faster, i.e. harder to keep up with. In female hiking clubs you often find women that joined so they didn’t have to worry about ‘keeping up with the guys’.
In any case, whether you want to hike with women or men, think about your partners hiking style. Are they fast? Are they patient? There is a world of difference between a partner that will barely conceal her impatience with your pace and one that laughs, smiles and matches your walk up the hill.
Hiking can be a vulnerable experience if you are new at it, so chose someone that you can be yourself with.
While we are at it, don’t limit yourself to just one person. Call a group of friends and hit the trail together. Not only is it a ton of fun, but you all get to brag around the water cooler on Monday morning about the mountains you climbed that weekend.
Change Your Paradigm
Remember that book from a few years ago, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People? One of its most profound chapters talked about changing your paradigm. Simply put, change the way you see the situation.
Hiking gives us a lot of opportunities to practice the habit of changing our thoughts. The biggest of these is the idea that people are laughing at us. In my twenty years of hiking and backpacking, I have often been the curvytest woman on the trail. In fact, I have often been the ONLY curvy woman on the trail.
When I first began to hike, I was determined to not let the ridicule of other hikers get to me. I was going to hike anyway, by golly! Throughout the years, though, I slowly noticed something. No one ever made fun of me. No one laughed at me and no one ridiculed me. All those snide comments I prepared myself for? Not a single one came my way.
You can chalk this up to two different things. One, hikers are actually really cool people. They don’t look at you and see someone that looks different from them. They look at you and see someone that shares a common interest with them. In the hiking world, if you love the outdoors, you are pretty much automatically accepted.
The second thing is that people aren’t paying nearly as much attention to us as we would like to think. When that Boy Scout troop goes flying by you on the trail, they are thinking about hotdogs, s’mores and campfires. Trust me; you and I are the last people on their minds.
Claim Your Place
Finally, this is your world and this is the perfect time to claim your place in it. The outdoors are there for everyone to value, experience and love. When you step out on the trail, claim your place on it. You belong there as sure as anyone and everyone else.
When the little voices in your head tell you that you are not fit enough, fast enough, trail-wise enough or good enough, remember… what does that voice know? That voice is not your friend and the things that it tells you are not rooted in reality at all. Reality is that with some preparation, common sense and just a touch of courage, you can be climbing mountains in no time.
To Be Continued…………