Yesterday we went for a hike up to Pine and Cedar Lakes in the Chuckanut Mountains. I chose it for getting in shape on the hills. Its a pretty good climb up to the lakes, and it takes a bit of a direct route up the hillside. Not only am I working on getting my body in shape for hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, I am also working on my mind. I am changing beliefs that have not served me so well on the trail in the past.
I have always had a bit of a challenge with the hills, and have known for quite some time that this is mostly a mental problem. Instead of looking up a hill and dreading the climb, I am learning to embrace the hill, and enjoy the journey up it. Bernie and I were coming up with thought patterns and intentions for the climb yesterday, and over all I feel like I did quite well! I did not breath nearly as hard as I usually do when in this kind of shape. Its sometimes a bit disturbing to climb hills with me, because my face almost turns purple at times. This is one of the many symptoms I am working at getting rid of.
My body stayed pretty relaxed our entire hike up, simply by changing the way that I think. This is a very strong lesson to learn when doing any activity. The more we embrace it and enjoy it, the less of a burden and challenge it becomes to us. One example is if we are out for a walk with someone, and we come up to a long steep hill, at first we might think “oh god, I have to climb that”, so right away your body starts to feel like a lead weight, and you have to drag it up that hill. But if the person you are with gets you talking about something you are passionate about, your mind is suddenly no longer focusing on how hard that hill is. Before you know it you will be at the top of the hill, you wont be breathing hard, and you will feel great, because you were focused on something you really enjoy, not making the hill into an impossible task.
One book that I was raised with, and always go back to for perspective on the different ailments that we carry in our bodies is Louise L. Hay’s “You Can Heal Your Life”. If you have never seen this book, I highly recomend it. The funny thing is I have actually not read the book through, but there is a list in it, with all the main body parts, what they represent, and then diseases that we get. It tells you what the typical reason for these problems are, and a new thought pattern to help you overcome these problems. So I looked up shoulders, since that is one of the main problems I am solving before we leave on our hike. She said that shoulders “represent our ability to carry out experiences in life joyously. We make life a burden by our attitude”. This is very true for me, especially with hiking. I have turned it into a burden at times for myself in the past. I know that I no longer need to do this, I know I will enjoy each moment it has to share with me, even if some of them do happen to be challenging. So my new thought pattern is “I choose to allow all my experiences to be joyous and loving”.
Sometimes the hardest part of changing our thought patterns is deciding to do it. Once we make this choice, we start to flow into a healthier place, and more thought patterns will naturally change to serve us better. I still have a lot of work to do in many aspects of my life, but I feel good at this moment working through some of these thoughts and fears that have been serving me very poorly for many years now.
After our nice hike up through the woods we came out at Pine Lake. Both of the lakes are not all that large, but they are pretty little gems hidden in the trees. As you can see, its been pretty chilly around here lately, there is still quite a bit of ice covering the lake. The weather is warming quite quickly over the last couple of days, so I believe spring is finally on its way around here.
We spent our time exploring around both the lakes, enjoying the scenery. Bernie got to play around with is new camera, and figure out some of its settings, and how it works under different light conditions. When we were done at Cedar Lake we made our way up a side trail to a few overlooks. One of them looked down on Bellingham, and it was kind of interesting to see it from a different perspective. Its amazing how much it sprawls…… kinda sad too. And then the other viewpoint looked out across the San Juan Islands. It wasnt quite sunset, but the light was still very nice. It was a nice place to pause for a few minutes. I was not doing so well on changing my beliefs on cold, and was feeling quite chilly at this point. I was looking forward to moving again, and so we made our way down the trail.
It was a good outing over all. My body felt good, it was nice to end a 7 mile hike with many hills without feeling sore and tired. I actually felt like I do after a few weeks of being on the trail, strong and relaxed, which is exactly what I wanted to accomplish!