Things I Learned from Nature, Part I

Being the southern belle that I am, I formerly wasn't such a big fan of nature.  It's hot.  There are things that live in it that could kill you.  And it's not practical to wear high heels and cocktail dresses while communing with it.

But part of my evolution as a person is wanting to be more hippie and less hipster.  So, I've vowed to make peace with nature.

Here's what I've learned so far:
  1. You know what, y'all? Hiking is just walking.  Just walking!  And all this time I thought there was some big secret, some mystery to it.  Nope.  Just one foot in front of the other.  And most all of us can do that.  Granted the only walking you may be used to doing is from the car to the couch and from the couch to the car but that's a start.  And if you can do that then you can hike.  Trust me.  I did it and survived.
  2. Going outside doesn't mean you have to wear feedbags and Chacos.  It is possible to look cute and participate in naturey things.  It just takes careful planning and some creativity.  Although, I've yet to find a way to incorporate high heels into the mix.  Hmmmmmm...
  3. When you see a snake on the trail your gut instinct may be to scream, and holler, and jump up and down.  Don't do that.  If you stand there like an idiot long enough some nice man with a stick will come along and shoo it away for you.  Then you can close your mouth and continue on your way.  I promise.
  4. Whoever came up with that saying, "Up hill both ways," clearly had never actually hiked because quite frankly going down sucks waaaay worse than going up.  If he had known what he was talking about it would be, "Down hill both ways."  So don't expect things to get easy on the second half of your hike.  
  5. You're going to fall down and it's going to be funny.  Especially if you're hiking around here where there are lots of rocks.  Please just laugh at yourself because whoever is with you or saw you is about to dying from suppressing their giggles.  And if you laugh it gives everyone else permission to laugh and when you really think about it people falling down is funny.  
  6. Don't look at where you're going so much that you forget to look at where you are.  Because where you are is beautiful.
  7. Your sports bra can double as a place to stash your keys and iphone.  Which speaking of that take your phone with you dummy.  Yes, I know you want to be in nature and off grid and blah blah blah but if something were to happen having a way to call for help, aside from screaming, is really nice.  Just put it on silent.  It will be fine.  You won't even know it's there.
  8. Just because it's not 900 degrees and humid as all get out doesn't mean that the sun isn't out.  Wear sunscreen.  Reapply your sunscreen. 
  9. Be patient with yourself.  It's perfectly legal to stop.  Especially if you stayed out a little too late the night before and ate pancakes for breakfast.  Don't ruin the scenic view by throwing up on the trail.  Pause.  Deep breathes.  Drink water. 
  10. Have fun.  Seriously.  You're outside.  It's beautiful.  And you can walk.  You really have so much to be thankful for.  Even if it's hot and the trail is steep.

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