Words by Jesse Cody
People ask me if I’m ready for my next hike. It’s a valid question. The Colorado Trail is 500 miles long with an average altitude of 10,350 feet through the mountains of Colorado. I’m not six pack fit, a guy that works out everyday. I do some good walking throughout the week and tend bar. I read up on pending hike and the possible one or two down the line. I constantly think about the million different ideas I can use with “Hike the Good Hike,” and I keep my finger on the pulse of brand growing etc. - just enough to make sure I’m not slipping.
Don’t look back, don’t look too far forward, stay in the present blah blah blah. Man, just keep it up. Grind away in the city until the trail comes calling. How do I know when that is? Hard to say. Everything about me just tells me so. It’s like drinking a strong coffee and jumping off the walls for hours. That’s exactly it. When I’m jumping off the city walls, it’s my body’s way of telling me the woods are calling.. I’m answering the call.
I feel like every human can relate. It might not be a hike you’re ready for, but you just know when you're ready for something other than the normal everyday grind. Do you feel me? Are you shaking your head “yes” as you read this? We all need a break from the everyday repetitiveness of living. I can scream “Hike the good hike.” all day long but what does that mean to you unless you understand exactly what your hike is?
It’s not my job to tell you that. It’s my desire to make you think, “Wait, I know this guy, Mule. He’s doing what he wants on his own terms. Can’t I do that in some form as it relates to my life?.” And that, in a sense, is exactly it. I’m not married, have no kids. I have a family and support system that believes in me and makes it easy for me to do what I do. As far as “hiking the good hike” goes, I’m in a very fortunate position. It does take some sacrifice and understanding that life for me is just a bit “different,” but would I change anything? Maybe. Perhaps. Or as I continue on, I’ll make adjustments. I’m just doing my best living “my life”.
I still work 40 plus hours a week and grind away to steal the time I can to walk around Cambridge’s Fresh Pond, sit in a coffee shop and write, jump in the car and head to a mountain to move my damn feet. That’s most of the year for me. That’s like many of us. I’m lucky. I can steal months at a time to hike, but we all can create some opportunities if we are willing to find the time. Even if that is just enough time to walk, hike, run, swim, stretch, dance, live life and more. That’s hiking the good hike. That’s us giving ourselves just enough to feel that much better even if it’s for an hour.
I’m just hoping you’re still shaking your head “Yes” as you read this. Regardless of where you are, what you’re doing, you’re asking yourself what’s going to be your hike this week. I know what mine is. I’m coming for you, Colorado. I’m not in super shape. I’m not sure what I’m getting myself into. I know I’m going to struggle. I know it’s going to be another difficult challenge..... Am I ready? I’m ready. Are you?
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Hiking in winter offered me the feeling of being truly alone without feeling lonely: a feeling a lot of people can identify with right now.
Seasonal depression is real and practicing self-care is important now more than ever. Going on a hike in the winter is a great way to get endorphins flowing and get out of the house. Not to mention there’s no bugs, no crowds, and more views on trail; don’t let the winter scare you away, rather, embrace it and have a good story to tell.
Covering those four miles an hour seemed like a distant dream. I moved at a pace dictated by the desert. The quicker you moved, the more you slipped about. It could be agonizing. This was a discomfort unique to the desert, one that I knew well from previous sandy sojourns in the Mojave and White Sands. My twisted mind invited the discomfort in. Let’s tango, desert.
My pack was stocked to survive three days in the backcountry. Though there were a good amount of clouds in the sky, the sun somehow found a way to shine through. And my skin found a way to chafe in the only place the sun don’t shine. My feet felt the burning heat from the sand through my lightweight trail runners. My calves punished me for subjecting them to such a rigorous sandy workout.