Hit the Trails

Some things are hard to do. Not because the task itself is inherently difficult, but because there is some other hurdle to mount before you can actually do the thing.

Toddler in a very long sweater and textured toque bending over a hiking backpack

Finishing baby sleeves is hard. Not because there’s a lot of knitting, and on this little sweater there wasn’t even any pattern, just the knit stitch around and around and around.

But I’ve been trying not to push myself over the edge for knitting projects, so instead of finishing these sleeves in one or two late-night marathons that would have left me exhausted for days afterwards, they got picked up and put down a bazillion times. Pick it up, adjust a tiny handful of stitches on the needles, knit a few stitches, put it down….again and again and again. The fiddling with stitches felt like it would never end.

About two weeks after I was over the fiddling, I wove imagine the ends and triumphantly put it on Dollop, whose initial reaction was tears. (If you ever worry that you’re too confident and self-assured, get yourself a baby.) After a few wears he realized that his new sweater keeps him warm on cold days, and he has revised his opinion upwards.

Mountainside with many layers of vegetation under a cloudy sky

Hiking is also hard. Not because I choose the hardest trails, I certainly do not. But choosing consistently to do something for myself, something without a tangible output, is really, really hard.

So I’m trying really really hard. Hiking makes me feel happy and strong. It gives me time to sort out my thoughts and let my mind settle down. I put it on the top of my to-do list, and twice a week, I put on my hiking gear and hit the mountain with the Dollop in a backpack.

My practice is not perfect, and some weeks I don’t make it out twice, but my goal is to keep getting out there so by the time summer hits, my exercising habits will be strong enough to withstand the transition to another medium. Because truly, the hardest thing of all is staying active during a Phoenix summer.

What about you, readers? How do you keep in motion during your dark season?

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