The longest hike that Heidi & I went on in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park recently was Bote Mountain. The hike turned out to be a total of 8.5 miles, on it's own that doesn't sound too bad but to reach the top of the mountain we hiked up 3,000 feet in a about 3.5 miles from the parking lot. The day was hot & the humidity was very high again. I was carrying a framed pack with our water, lunch & my camera in it....probably 20-30 pounds. The difficult part of this hike was that there were no switchbacks so we literally hiked straight up the mountain.
On the way up we enjoyed the scenery very much but were annoyed by a bunch of flies/gnats that seemed to continue to fly around our heads. As we hiked I thought about my deep connection with nature & the beauty all around me but as I began to get tired I started to understand why exercise (like yoga) is connected to several of the worlds religions. The endorphins that are released from physical exercise lift your mind to a new & amazing place. It allows you to move beyond the EGO & into a deep spiritual place.
I use to be a pretty good athlete when I was younger & although I had experienced this release of endorphins when I was younger the body/mind connection has never been clearer to me then in the last year. Exercise has become a bigger part of my life over the past year. I currently ride my bike between 18-25 miles a day & Heidi & I hike with the dogs about 4 miles a day. I have experienced this body/mind connection often in the past year but never to the extent I felt it on Bote Mountain.
I wish I had a bunch of great pictures to share from this journey but the sad part of our climb was that there was never a clear vista to look upon. We did see some lovely views through the trees but nothing that came out well in pictures. We sat on the top of the mountain for a long time & ate our lunch (a bunch of granola bars). As we sat there I reflected on the wonderful feeling of accomplishing this great climb & I began to realize the extent of this body/mind connection.
So, what's the point of this blog? Take care of your body, exercise & eat well. Your body is the shell that holds your spirit & the better it works, the easier it is to connect to your spirit. Exercise is one way to move beyond the EGO & listen to your true self (soul). The connection to your true self is the most important connection you can make & whatever helps you reach this deep level of yourself I encourage you to do.....for me exercise & silence are the two easiest ways to get there.
I hope you have a great weekend!!
PS I am still looking for guest bloggers, if you're interested in writing something for my blog contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Quote of the day: "The deep connection to our true self can be realized through daily exercise. Take time to grow the body/mind connection & discover the joy in your soul."