When you live in the city and love the mountains it’s sometimes a tough predicament to be in. As much as I strive for that equal balance of city life and trail time, (knowing that I’m a better person when I do), sometimes life and other obligations just get in the way of getting outside. And as much as I try and help other people get over this hurdle, it’s hard not to fall into the trap of busy city obligations myself – especially around this time of year. All the holiday to-do’s, social soirees and work gatherings, while fun, can leave me feeling stressed out and wiped of energy. And though that’s the exact point of why it’s important to get outside and away from it all, sometimes just fighting my way home on the subway through the busy shopping crowds is all the strength I can muster.
But here’s something I did this week that made me able to lift my head and shoulders from their slumping, feeling sorry-for-myself, pressed-for-time position – I went to the park in my neighborhood. I didn’t have half a day to drive or take the train upstate to a trailhead like I wanted to. I couldn’t visit the views of a mountain top or breathe in non-city air – but what I did have time to do was to take a 4-mile jog in Prospect Park at sunrise. And though it was short-lived, that tiny stretch of time when I saw the sun glow over the lake and the birds flying in the air allowed me to get out of my head and get my blood pumping. It was all the peace and serenity I needed to get me through the rest of my day.
While I thought I would have preferred a hike in the Hudson Valley, it was nice to realize that I was making it all too complicated for myself by thinking that going upstate was my only option. By simply stepping outside my apartment, I could solve my own overwhelm. It was as simple as walking out the door with the right attitude.