We took the kids to Chestnut Ridge Metro Park for a quick hike and some exploring today, and I got to thinking about how different hiking can be for each individual. I really think people are either destination hikers or journey hikers.
Personally I’m all about the journey. I don’t mind taking an hour to go a mile or two with the kids. I’ve never been a trail blazer in the fitness department. Even my dad tells me “you don’t have to win, just beat one person”. These are my goals people. But I like getting out and trying, even if I’m slow. I love to just hang out and take in nature. In Alaska I was dead tired one day, so Jake did a quick mile around a lake and I sat on a bench and took the most peaceful nap of my life. #napgoals.
Jake is a destination hiker. It drives him crazy to go so slow. He loves to log miles, see more, do more, go faster. When we are out with the kids he has to slow way down, and I know it bugs him. He’s a good sport, don’t get me wrong, but for sure he would love to get through a three mile hike in under 4 hours. Overachiever.
You can see where, as a family, conditions are ripe for unrest. Especially when the day is hot and muggy, and you’ve run out of water. Also pro tip: check your water reservoir before you leave. Don’t just assume it’s full. Or forget that it was yesterday that you asked your husband to fill it before you left. Just saying.
Dear mom. Where’s my water. I’m so thirsty. Also I’m melting.
So we have some tension of goals sometimes. Generally I’m up for putting in more miles, and Jake tries really really really hard to be patient with us, and for the most part we succeed in balancing everyone’s preferences. Today was the other part I think?
Today started off alright. The kids napped on the way to the park, and we had a nice picnic lunch in our minivan while Abby finished her nap. Chestnut Ridge has a really awesome playground, it’s built to look like a fort. Unfortunately some wasps had built a nest in the play structure, so our kids did not get to enjoy it. We did the swings for a bit, but today was so hot it was like standing in an oven so it didn’t last long. Both girls were a bit grumpy that we couldn’t stay at the swings longer.
We left the swing/lava area and headed over to the little deck overlooking the pond. The pond was really neat, it had a ton of fish swimming in it. Abby loved it, Olivia was not fond of the bird poop and she was hungry… 20 minutes after rejecting the majority of her lunch.
Eventually we got around to hiking. This park boasts an overlook of the Columbus city skyline. Hmmm…. I think everything I read forgot to mention that you can’t see it in the summer. Ugh. So we hiked to the overlook and saw some really pretty views, but not exactly the skyline.
The girls enjoyed a rousing game of I’m a cat I’m a dog. But no skyline. I honestly would love to come back here in the fall/winter. I’m guessing that when the leaves fall the views here would be amazing. I also think it would be fun to explore this place when we aren’t melting all over the trail. None of today’s problems have anything to do with this park, so don’t fault Chestnut Ridge! Really this place is super nice and has a ton to offer. Each time we visit a metro park I’m blown away by how well done the park system is. Before we embarked on the #yearofadventure I didn’t know what we were missing out on.
By the time we made it (a half mile?) to the overlook, the unrest was evident. All four of us were equally grumpy for different reasons, and we opted to just head back the way we came instead of trying to do the full trail. Our small one-ish mile round trip hike was not exactly what mile loving Jake had in mind. It’s just like that sometimes.
So I would love to say that the destination hikers out there just need to chill out and enjoy any time outdoors, but it’s not really that simple. The truth is, we need each other. I remind Jake to enjoy our daughter’s joy in discovering dinosaur “fossils” on the trail, and he pushes me to achieve more than I thought we could. If we didn’t have the tension of goals we would each miss an important part of our adventures. It would definitely be easier if Jake would just do exactly what I want all the time, but that would get really boring. And I would miss out on the feeling of pride I get when I push myself to *try* to keep up with him. So my personal goal for the next time we are out is to let him push us just a bit further, just a bit faster, and enjoy the feeling at the end when we succeed.