As spring began its gradual transition to the swelter of summer, I decided to take a hike by myself on a mildly warm afternoon last Saturday. “Maybe it’ll clear my mind,” I thought.
And clear my mind it did. As I trudged on the Fremont Older trails, the sun gradually setting, the heat gradually settling, sweat gradually condensing and trickling down my face, I was shocked by the simple lack of anything typically revolving in my life. In fact, I had even sacrificed my precious phone for a more authentic experience, but I had never expected this true empty space, fortified from the bustle of outside life and faced only with the heat, the trail and my footsteps. No longer was I stressed with the thought that I had homework I had procrastinated on, tests I should study for, tasks I had forgotten. I simply allowed myself to relax, think and drift, grounded by only the steady pounding on the dusty trail.
And nature was my companion, my eyes filled with the occasional intriguing tree or greenery on the side of the dusty trail, scattered with some extremely fancy houses I often stopped to admire. In fact, I easily lost track of time, only roughly estimating time by the location of the sun in the sky and my measure of exhaustion as I continued to walk on. Yet I was strangely exhilarated, liberated, at peace through my walk, simply absorbing sights, sounds, and my thoughts – or often, lack of thoughts. I realized, this is what it’s like to put down your phone, listen to your breath and your steps, and just relax – providing a brief break from reality.
Although this hike was fun, I think I’ll drag my mom along next time; conversation and company would be a delightful bonus to my next adventure!
To experience my hike at Fremont Older (http://strollerhikes.com/location/fremont-older/), try the 3.8 mile Seven Springs Route (http://strollerhikes.com/hike/seven-springs-loop/) or the 2.4 mile Hunter’s Point Route (http://strollerhikes.com/hike/prospect-road-to-hunters-point/).