Hiking for me is always such a unique experience. When it comes to physical activity and working out, cardio is my all time LEAST favorite thing. So why do I like hiking so much? Well I’m going to tell you why.
Before we get started I want to introduce you to my girl gang so you guys can put a face to the names. In the photo above the beautiful babe all the way to the left with the blue headband is Alaina. The queen of beautiful red heads throwing up the peace signs in the back is Ciera. The gorgeous birthday girl who is front and center is Kat. And of course there’s my beautiful college roommate Bella (in the photo below to the right).
Once upon a time in a mountain far far away, five girls decided to go hiking. Here is their story.
Hiking Old Rag.
For the first few minutes it’s not that bad. My friends and I were chatting, laughing, and dancing while we walked the mile long paved road to the beginning of the trail. The thing is, we always start off too fast. Once my heart rate is up and I’m dripping in sweat, I know I’m in for a long hike of pain. Kat and Alaina were the line leaders of the group while me, Ciera, and Bella dragged behind. The three of us all had our hatred of cardio in common. Kat was playing music from her phone so her and Alaina were walking to the beat of the music which = very fast paced. At times we wanted to quit but what kept me going was my determination to make it to the top. I had hiked Old Rag over spring break with a different group of friends, but out of nowhere it started snowing really hard so we never made it to the top. We had to turn around because the rocks were getting so slippery and cold. This time I wanted to finish. I am in way better shape now than I was then so I knew I could do it.
Ciera, Bella, and I, not so patiently, waited to achieve our “hiker’s high” and that didn’t happen until the rock scramble.
So what is the rock scramble? The rock scramble of Old Rag is one of the funnest things I have ever done. The path is no longer dirt and plants. It’s instead made up of huge, giant rocks that you have to climb through, over, and under. In the photo above, Kat and I were in between two huge rocks and Ciera took this photo of us from the top of one of the rocks.
The rock scramble is super fun but there are definitely scary parts. Some spaces you have to squeeze through and other places you have to jump from rock to rock. It was difficult but so so empowering. At the gym I can barely do a push up but during the rock scramble I was able to not only pull myself up but I was able to also help my friends up at times and get through some of the harder parts. Each person in our group conquered a specific part of the hike and helped everyone through it. I couldn’t have done it without my girls.
We felt like we were in an action movie (like Tomb Raider) while going through the rock scramble. And all though it’s the most difficult part of the hike, it didn’t feel that way because we were having so much fun!
WE MADE IT!!!
Well at least we thought we made it. Out of all of us I was the only one who had somewhat hiked old rag before. Which meant none of us knew where the peak was. So we summited, I believe a total of three times before we actually made it to the real summit. We took pictures at each “summit” (including the real one) but after our second “summit” we were all ready to start going down. It was getting close to sunset and we didn’t want to be walking in the dark. We started at 2:00pm and didn’t summit until 6:50pm.
At the top we all felt so empowered and that feeling is why I love hiking. When you finally make it the top and you feel like you’re on top of world and that you can do anything. It sounds super cliche but it’s so true. Going up is alright, going down sucks (not gonna lie) but being at the top is magical.
I must admit I was pretty nervous to go hiking because I hadn’t been eating too well recently and I was feeling a little bloated. But you always have to act confident. I hiked a mountain and it was really hard but I made it. Sure maybe my body isn’t perfect or as toned as I hoped it would be but thats okay. Don’t hide under your shirt or worry about your back rolls (one of my most insecure spots). You have to love who you are.
I love that I didn’t give up when I wanted to and got to the top. I love that I didn’t wear a shirt the whole time and that I confidently rocked my sports bra and matching pants (linked here). I love how I took photos with my friends and didn’t care too much about they way I looked. I had to think about all of the things I accomplished on my hike in order to really be confident in who I am right now. You have to love yourself during the journey. Self love isn’t a physical appearance love. It’s an inner love.
Looking out at the world from the top really made me feel special. Every single tree I saw in the mountains was different from the tree sitting right next to it. Every cloud in the sky was different than the days before. Just like every single person in this world.
We are all so different and so unique. Every beautiful girl I hiked Old Rag with is beautiful in her own unique way. And here is one thing out of the millions of things that makes them each beautiful.
Alaina has the best and most beautiful smile. Every single time she smiles she looks like the happiest girl in the entire world. And it’s contagious; if she’s smiling you want to smile too <3
Bella is fearless. She doesn’t think twice about something she just jumps. Without her I wouldn’t have made it to the top of the tallest rock. She told me to not think just jump. Mind over matter, it’s a beautiful character trait of hers <3
One thing that makes Ciera beautiful is her words. In the toughest times of the hike she could crack us all up with one of her famous one liners. One of her funny one liners would lead to Alaina’s contagious smile and then we would all be happy. She knows how to make a good time out of a tough time <3
One thing that makes Katherine beautiful is her confidence. Nothing holds her back. She isn’t afraid to be herself. Lara Croft has nothing on this babe <3
All of us are beautiful in so many more ways than just one. And I’m not just talking about my friends, I’m talking about all of you. Everyone on this earth. Find your one thing. What’s one thing that makes you beautiful? One thing that no matter how bad you feel about yourself you can think about it and realize how beautiful you are. Once you can think of one, the rest just tumble out.
This is why I love hiking. I wouldn’t be writing this blog post right now and talking about beauty if it wasn’t for this hiking trip. It made me feel so accomplished and powerful. I’m motivated to do so much now. I completed a hard task and now everything seems a little easier.
Try to go hiking at least once. Maybe you’ll hate it afterwards but I promise you will at least love it when you get to the top.
Always remember to love who you are.
I will talk to all of you beautiful people on Friday.
xoxo, Marta Bean.