If I told you that this place we call home (EARTH) has so many wonderful places, would you believe me? You might have been watching a TV show and saw a waterfall you can only dream of. Or, a meadow that seems out of this world. Luckily, I have some great news, there is a way to get to all this wonderful places. All you are required to do is get out and EXPLORE!
When you connect with nature, peace and tranquility start to form inside you. You realize how small we are in a world so big. Problems and life issues are viewed differently. The quote “IT’S NOT ABOUT THE DESTINATION, IT IS ABOUT THE JOURNEY” becomes the new way of thinking. Mother Nature has thing crazy way of letting you know to turn back or stay put. The main goal is to stay safe, the summit or destination can wait. Although, the views from the mountain top leave you in awe. And the discovering of new places become a necessity.
Choosing a lifestyle for the family is sometimes a hard task; Sharing the exact same interests, enjoying free time doing what you really love, and most importantly, being together. For the Amaya family, such has not been the case. We all love the outdoors, and enjoy exploring. My wife and son look forward to our weekend adventures, and we plan our hikes around family events if any. For example, if on Saturday we have a get-together, we plan an early morning hike or Sunday hike. Sometimes we’ll do both, yeah we are kinda on the coo coo side for nature.
Our adventures started small and slow, little hikes here and there any chance we got. Until, we realized the outdoor way of life is life. It became a necessity to get out and explore. To get some amazing views from the top, and the journey is a much more rewarding experience while getting there. We also realized, this is so simple, so us. Not much is needed to enjoy the outdoors, just a good willing heart, ready to receive and embrace all that nature has to offer.
It is not just a reason to escape reality, because that is something you can not escape from. Rather a way to find yourself, find inner peace and tranquility. Although when we are in the mountains, not much in the real world matters. No cell phone service means no distractions, aside from those on the trail.
Christopher really loves nature, and has taught my wife and I the importance of caring for it. This, I believe to be the biggest blessing and our backbone to our adventures. If we want our children to care for nature, first they must learn to love it. He fights for a trash free earth, and has earned a patch to prove it. This patch, is not just a simple patch, it is a lifestyle he has chosen.
I, myself, can happily say that hiking and being outdoors has brought peace for me and my family. We take a hike any chance we get; to clear our minds, to de-stress and to connect with ourselves. Christopher joins us in our hikes, he is happy when we are exploring. Although sometimes the steepness of the trail gets the best of him and starts getting fuzzy. This is easily fixed by distracting his mind; we do rhyming words, count to 100 in multiple ways, and do sentences. We take turns choosing a word, and the winning sentence gets a share of M&M’s or Snickers. This has also helped Christopher improve with school work.
It’s all a matter of getting out there really. Start somewhere, and before you know it, you’ll get to your destination. The rewarding journey is almost as priceless as the mountain top. Christopher loves a challenge, and has always pushed himself, on the trail and anywhere. We would take a hike to the Angeles National Forest, the river is his favorite spot, Bridge to Nowhere trail to be exact. At first, he would be able to hike about 2 miles, and I would have to carry him back down. Slowly but surely, his distance started increasing. Soon, he was able to do the entire trail up, 5miles; I’d carry him back down. Once he was able to do the distance, we started going uphill and gaining a couple thousand feet. It took us several attempts to get him to where he is now. When we least expect it, he is going to be carrying me down the mountain.
One of my biggest accomplishment so far has been climbing Mt. Whitney via the High Sierra Trail. Currently training my wife and son, in hopes to do the 76 mile traverse up to Mt. Whitney. My 6 year old son, Christopher, really enjoys hiking. He loves attention and also likes to motivate friends on the trails. His longest and toughest hikes in the training process to name a few: Mt. Baldy, Mt. Wilson, Cucamonga Peak and Strawberry Peak, and still counting.
** THIS BLOG FIRST APPEARED ON Make Life Count webpage
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