Running is one of my favorite activities because it allows me to free myself from the rest of the world. When I am running, it is just the pavement and myself. I am not concerned about anything going on in the world. I try to completely clear my head and focus on the road in front of me. It allows me to push myself further than I would ever think I could, as I try to reduce my times and run further than I have before. I think I am going to run a half marathon in the fall, as I've been training for a while without ever setting a date. Running gives me goals to reach, and allows me to feel the satisfaction when I reach those goals. One of my biggest goals last semester was to run the entire length of the Huckleberry and back (11.52 miles) and the feeling of accomplishment I had upon finishing was like few feelings I could get elsewhere. The Huckleberry trail here in Blacksburg is my favorite place to run, as it is relatively separated from the rest of the city and allows me to be in my element. It is where I have run the furthest and probably the fastest I have ever run. The mile markers give allow me to keep track of how far I have gone. It is quite frankly perfect. I chose to run without music and alone, because I need that time in my day to remain sane amongst everything life throws at me. Running is my anti-stress. Running is my passion.
My second passion is hiking. Since I was little, I was exposed to nature through my Dad and the Boy Scouts. Some of my best memories from when I was younger were camping trips or hikes I went on. I learned more from the wilderness than I have from a majority of my classes. Being out in the woods allows me to focus on what is really important in the world and get away from any stress that is compiling in my life. What I consider my coming of age was when I hiked half dome with my dad in Yosemite National Park in California. It was an 18 mile hike that took us all day, but was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Growing up, my Dad would tell me about the times he hiked the dome and how amazing it was. So a few years back I told him I wanted to do it and it has been the best day I have ever spent with him without a doubt. In high school, I went to Philmont, which was a 12 day backpacking trip in New Mexico. It pushed me to my limits, but I discovered how much I can accomplish if I set my mind to it. Obtaining my Eagle Scout is one of the things I am most proud of this day, as it took many years and a lot of hard work. I am debating if I truly want to hike the entire Appalachian Trail. It is a voyage thrown around my many, but accomplished by few. Looking into the future, I could not think of anything I could do in life that would be more rewarding than hiking all 2,181 miles. It would take multiple months, and would require a cease to the current live that you are living at the time. This is a decision I will make one day. I think it would best be done after I graduate and before I start working. I'll keep you up to date. Nature is something I value dearly, it is my teacher.
The final part of the day that I so thoroughly enjoyed was cooking dinner with two of my best friends Ellee and Clayton. Ellee and I went to the grocery store like a married couple and picked out a great dinner. We cooked the steak, mashed potatoes, and salad to perfection and feasted while watching "extreme couponers." So satisfying after a day that consisted of 12 miles of running/walking. I love cooking as it is another escape for me (catch a pattern with all the things I love to do?). From the preparation, to the cooking, to the serving, cooking is an art form and I am just trying to master it. I would much rather cook for a girl than take her out to dinner somewhere, because I can put personality and care into the meal that I am preparing her. Cooking a meal for myself gives me a sense of accomplishment that a Big Mac sure as hell couldn't. I have to cook for myself all summer at my internship since there aren't too many restaurants, so hopefully I'll be a little better by the time I get back to school. Just let me know, and I will be more than happy to cook for you!
So this blog post was quite long, but I felt a day such as this deserves such. I am trying to get to bed early tonight, as I am heading up to DC tomorrow on the way back up to Pennsylvania. This has been an amazing weekend and it appears tomorrow will just continue that streak. I suppose a quote about nature is appropriate today. Until tomorrow,
"Rivers and rocks and trees have always been talking to us, but we've forgotten how to listen."
- Michael Roads