It’s Not About The Food
Those of you who know me know that I’m an avid hiker. I met my husband on a hiking trip. On that trip he fell in love—with another girl. She confided to me that she had a guy back home and they were quite serious, having been in a relationship for at least two weeks already. I was there with a bottle of wine and a home-cooked dinner to help my guy pick up the pieces when his relationship fell apart. He ate a mouthful and rolled his eyes in wonder. “You cook like this all the time?” he asked. “Yes.” I had him at first bite. I married Brad and Monica married the other guy.
We hiked a lot during the early years. Then we began a family and hiking got relegated to almost never. Eventually my pack was sold in a garage sale with other debris from our former life.
Brad and I are celebrating an anniversary this week. (Happy anniversary Sweetie!) Our relationship is now older than either of us were when we were married. The ride has been awesome. This past Sunday he bought me a new backpack. It is shiny and new and red, with lots of bells and whistles.
I was asked recently why I would willingly separate myself from creature comforts and civilization to get dirty and live out of a pack. I have several heartfelt answers: Because I feel renewed and self-sufficient when I test my limits and find that I am stronger and more resilient than I imagined. Because I’ve connected deeply with people and nature by walking off the beaten path. Because I’ve seen sights that no one can possibly experience until they’ve gone far into the wilderness: The aurora borealis reflecting off a finger lake in the wilds of Minnesota, a blood-red moon rising from the ocean on a windswept beach (empty except for the few of us), that same beach littered with giant whelk shells after a storm, the night sky white with stars, baby alligators and their mama, ancient Indian runes on cave walls, a sunrise reflected in a golden mist hovering over crystal clear water.
A new backpack represents new journeys. On the short list: overnights to the Smokey Mountains, a portion of the Appalachian Trail, the Big South Fork. On the longer list: walking the El Camino de Santiago, a 500 mile pilgrimage from France into Spain.
I’ve come to understand lately that, as important as healthy eating is, it isn’t about the food. It is about living a life that is deeply satisfying and fulfilling, where you can have new dreams that require daring, adventure and stamina to carry out. The truth is that in order to get there, you have to have a body to carry you. And if you want to enjoy the ride, you must care for the body and the soul that resides there. For me, hiking does both.
May you dream, and dream deeply. Then, may you have the courage to live your dreams. May your body be strong and resilient, and may your soul be renewed.
Holistic Health Coach
To read more by Camille visit her website camillewatson.com