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Hiking and happiness

Student enjoys new past time

Madeline Smyser, Staff Reporter

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There are two things that I as a high school student always feel I have no time for: relaxing and exercise. Both hardly ever fit into my weekly schedule, and may only appear in my weekends every so often. Based on the constant complaining about the lack of sleep and overload of stress, I’d guess the case is the same with many of you.

What can give us a reprieve from school and activities and work and parents and friends? What can we do to finally get some time to think about our decisions instead of constantly making them? Well, it may not be the answer to all of life’s problems, but I think I have come across something that may help.

It’s called hiking. Even for those who hate actually exercising (*cough* me *cough*) or are plagued by cedar allergies, there is still something about walking alone in nature that calms the soul. Sounds very hippie doesn’t it?

But, really, give it a chance. If you live in Steiner Ranch or River Place, or even close to one of the two, which you most likely do, you might know about the trails that both neighborhoods have. Easy hikes, close to home, and still in range of cell service.

Recently, I’ve been walking my dog on the trails near my house. It’s peaceful, to feel like you’re far away from all civilization, under the cover of the trees and feeling a nice breeze on your skin. But there’s also a comforting knowledge that you haven’t really gone far at all.

Walking the trails allows for beautiful views of the Austin hill country. It makes you appreciate how beautiful this place is. Looking across the rolling hills of green trees, over Lake Austin, and beyond, it’s breathtaking.

Hiking is a great way to get your body moving, but it’s nothing too exhausting or taxing that you wake up sore the next day. It simply gets your blood pumping and your legs stretching.

Like I said before, it’s a place to think. About life, about friends, about family. A place where there are no deadlines, no stressful phone calls, no obligations. A place to slow down.

The trails are a gift. Let us take advantage of them when we can find the time!

Ah, time. The thing we all wish we had more of. Despite all of our busy schedules, I guarantee that you can fit a 15 minute walk in at some point, if you really tried. And if you can’t find time, make time.

I encourage you, all of you, to try it. I promise, you won’t be disappointed in what you find out there. You don’t have to go alone, either. Take a pet or a parent or a friend, they’d love it too. Or go on your own, stick some headphones in and let your mind wander.

Time to yourself is important for your health. Hiking is a way to be healthy in so many different ways!

Be kind to yourself. Take a hike.

 

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The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School
Hiking and happiness