GCD Wilderness Engagement – Thankful for nature

My family and I used to go hiking on a monthly basis. We would choose a different mountain or route to hike every time, and each time we would choose to hike a more challenging path. During the first few hikes, I used to often say, “I’m tired” or “I don’t want to do this”. This was because I was not familiar with hiking, and thought I would rather spend some time in the city. As I continued to spend time in nature, it helped me practice how to orient my mindset positively to different situations, perseverance, and also to love nature.

Kintokiyama is the name of the first mountain I hiked. Every time I would feel fatigue, I would stop and whine about why I had to be hiking. Looking back, I was making the situation very hard and unfavorable to my family which I am very ashamed of. Comparing this to my most recent family hiking trip to Komagatake, it is very apparent that I’ve matured and grown as a person. As we continued to practice hiking and improved on our abilities to hike, I started to enjoy hiking very much. I became the fastest one to reach the top, which gave me a feeling of satisfaction and pride. The sense of achievement I felt at the top of the mountain was priceless to me, so all I had to change was my approach to achieving that feeling. I promised myself to not whine, work hard and see the beauty in nature while I hike so I am able to enjoy my time even more. Through the act of hiking, I was able to realize that perseverance and maintaining a positive outlook in any situation is key to bettering skills, self-confidence and healthy relationships with your surrounding.

Nowadays, I tell my family and friends that I want to go on a hiking trip at least once a week. I am in love with nature and feel very attached to it on a daily basis. The hiking trip in Nakasendo during expedition week made me very happy that I was able to reconnect with nature, and felt very calming and relaxing. Who knew I would become a person who would rather spend time in nature than in the city.

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