Happy New Year! Some cultures have not begun to celebrate it yet, but there are several universal things about the dawning of a new year. Along with celebrating with family and friends, and passing on good fortune with donations, toasts, or favors, come looking towards the future. Those of us that have gone through a few years of resolutions have learned not to bite off too much; gradual change is most likely to be habit-forming, rather than suddenly modifying one’s lifestyle. Max didn’t become potty trained in a day, although my mother-in-law irritatingly insisted that my husband was (at least once a month for the dozen or so months that it took Max to form his new habits, it seemed). Another lesson is that finding social supports for reinforcing or implementing that resolution makes it stick far more than if you’re in it alone. When my friend, Lani, wanted to get in shape and run her first marathon, we worked on it together, and after ten months of very gradual training, she achieved her goal (and I ran my third marathon).
Top resolutions these days include (1) reducing carbon footprints, (2) improving diet and fitness, (3) checking off something from a “life list” like traveling to a far-off place or completing a high stamina/endurance activity, and (4) achieving inner stability through major life change (like switching jobs or kicking a drug habit). As you may guess, the last two are less often achieved to meet these goals usually requires dramatic change, and a lot of people lack the resolve to weather that storm. And the first two, sad to say, might lead to the purchase of a bicycle, gym membership, or compost bin, and some associated sweat and stink for a few months, but for a lot of folks, all three tend to gather dust later in the year as we revert to our old habits.
Stroller Hikes was created as a resource for families throughout the Bay Area, and this time of year, it will hopefully make it especially easy to stick to a goal about reducing your carbon footprint and improving fitness. No membership fee required, and while we don’t have organized events to match the frequency at 24 Hour Fitness, thanks to our wonderful volunteer staff, we have several events every week to get your family outside of the house to exercise, enjoy nature, and learn more about the public resources of your area. Loren continues with her Toddler Treks on Tuesday mornings, Amy B. resumes leading on Tuesday afternoons this week, and Jenn K. begins leading Wednesday morning hikes next week. Max and I (and I’m certain, Melissa and Maxwell) are eager to start leading hikes again in February we’ve been watching the skies stay lighter a little later each day, but in the meantime, we use Stroller Hikes regularly to remind ourselves where to take Dad for a hike, bike ride, or run on the weekends. And don’t forget Jennifer’s Moonlit Hikes every month or so, for flashlight-led fun in some amazing natural spaces.
In terms of Stroller Hikes resolutions, as a 501-c-3, we aim to improve our educational outreach through more curriculum including plenty of recipes for paints, cookie-dough, and kitchen fun this year. We will also continue to network within the community to make Stroller Hikes a more household name come see us at Whole Food’s Whole Baby Day on Sunday, January 24th, for instance. More resolutions are sure to come, after our board meeting on Monday. We’ll be sure not to take on anything too huge, and hope to achieve our goals thanks to all of the support from you, in terms of feedback, word-of-mouth marketing, and in-kind and financial donations. “We get by with a little help from our friends!”
Here are this week’s events:
Every Tuesday at 9 am Loren and little Angelo will lead a Toddler Trek at Guadalupe Oak Grove Park. We will meet at the Vargas Dr. Entrance which is a break in the fence with plenty of street parking. The walk is unpaved and stroller friendly. Dogs welcome. We will make a 1 mile loop stopping midway at a playground. This will be very unstructured with plenty of time for the kids to explore and collect treasures. If we are lucky we will see some squirrel friends, acorn woodpeckers, and maybe even a hummingbird. To find this trail head south on Almaden Expressway, take a right onto Coleman (just before Almaden Lake Park), then a left onto Recife Way. Recife Way will dead end at Vargas Dr. and the trail head. If are running late give Loren a call at 831-227-6737. Come join on our adventure!
Tuesday, January 12th at 1:30 pm join Amy B. and her wee ones for a hike at Rancho San Antonio in Cupertino / Los Altos Hills. We’ll do an almost entirely paved, flat path or a hilly, packed dirt route, depending on who attends. Both trails will go to the farm, and maybe past it. Any baby transport will work, and bikes or trikes can be used on the flat route. Meet at the upper parking lot where model airplanes are flown (just past the entrance, turn right, then left into the first parking area uphill from the lower two). For more information or directions, see the Rancho San Antonio Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/RanchoSanAntonio/ranchoSanAntonio.html). Sorry, dogs not allowed. This hike is at least half shaded. Call Amy at 408-368-7161 if you’re running late.
On the third Saturday of every month, at 10:30 am join Bike Buddies for a Family Friendly Bike Ride through downtown San Carlos. The ride will last up to an hour. For more information, see SanCarlosGreen.org’s Website (http://www.sancarlosgreen.org/home/bikebuddies.html).
Plan ahead for some special events:
Saturday, January 23rd from 1 to 4 pm come out to Ulistac Natural Area in Santa Clara for a Family Play Day sponsored by Wild Zones. Bring a change of clothes, wipes, and a towel, as the mud is sure to be gooey and there will be plenty of stick play. Ulistac is a wonderful place to explore nature and creative play away from the glossy trademarked plastic toys that seem to dominate these days. For some pictures of old nature play events, see the Wild Zones Website (http://www.wild-zone.net/morenew.html).
Sunday, January 24th from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm drop by Los Altos’ Whole Foods Market for a FREE educational event. Join Stroller Hikes, Blossom Birth, and plenty of other fantastic local resource groups in promoting healthy life choices in our families. Activities will include a cooking demonstration, infant massage presentation, and baby wearing workshop.
Saturday, January 30th at 5:30 pm join Jennifer and little Kayla for a Full Moon Hike at Vasona Lake County Park in Los Gatos. Look for bats, listen for frogs and crickets, and see what other animals come to life as dusk falls at this lovely park with paved trails. Jennifer Snedeker will lead this family-friendly event, suitable for baby transport of all types. Meet at the Vasona playground parking lot. Bring some layered clothes if it cools down, and also bring water, a snack, and a flashlight. Jennifer is a wonderful educator who will break up the hike with games and exploration, depending on what critters the group sees. This event is co-sponsored by Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation. For information about Vasona’s trail and directions to get to Vasona, see the Los Gatos Creek Trail Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/LosGatosCreek/LosGatosCreek.html) or Santa Clara Parks and Rec’s Page about Vasona (http://www.parkhere.org/portal/site/parks/parksarticle?path=%252Fv7%252FParks%2520and%2520Recreation%252C%2520Department%2520of%2520%2528DEP%2529&contentId=54a698ba77784010VgnVCM10000048dc4a92____&cpsextcurrchannel=1).
Happy resolution making (and meeting)!
-Debbie and little Max