Thankful Thursday 5 – Hiking

This is a view of one of the peaks as you start out on the trail.

This is a view of one of the peaks as you start out on the Slate Canyon trail.

I decided to set some goals for myself while I’m in  Utah. I need to have some direction and control, especially when I don’t have much control over other areas of my life at this moment.

One area I need to work on is physical fitness. I’m not in particularly good shape. I’m not hugely obese or anything, but I’ve definitely got a few extra pounds. I can’t run fast. I can’t jump high. I’m a terrrible swimmer. I’ve never done a pull-up…

You get the picture.

On the other hand, I’ve always aspired to the ideal of the Renaissance man. I’m a pretty talented person generally, but if one area in my life is neglected, physical fitness is it.

With that in mind, my physical fitness goal is to hike the summit of Mount Timpanogos. I’ve lived almost my whole life looking up at that mountain, and I’ve never hiked to the top. I’m giving myself a couple months to get into some sort of shape (round is a shape, right?), and I’ve started doing some easier hikes in the area. Last week I hiked Battle Creek with the kids, which is a short, easy hike to a waterfall. This morning I tried hiking Slate Canyon by myself.

I did not make it all the way through the trail (I mis-typed that as trial initially, which is close enough); I don’t even think I made it halfway through the trail. It was steep and I can’t breath at elevation yet. However, I still had a really nice time. How many places have views like this just ten minutes from home?

This is looking out of the valley on the way down.

This is looking out over the valley on the way down the trail..

If I was in better shape I would have been singing or humming, rather than gasping and huffing, but I had two songs going through my head as I did the hike: For the Beauty of the Earth and Wolf’s Fußreise (here’s a translation).

Fun Fact: If you time your steps to fit with the beat of the song you’re imagining, then the song will get slower and slower in your head as you tire out. I was walking to the most dirge-like For the Beauty of the Earth that you can imagine.

The truth is that Utah wilderness is sublime. I’m grateful that I have some time to explore it and see how amazing it is.