At the beginning of this year, I had all these goals laid out. Places I wanted to visit, new trails I wanted to hike, adventures to take with the family, and I knew I wanted to triple my 365 Mile Challenge goal. I also knew I wanted to get most of those miles outside and on a trail. I have completed double miles the last two years, so for my third year I thought a triple would be fitting. I started the year out great with a first day hike, and then immediately got sick after that. I was sick for almost six weeks. I still got out, because I was determined to make my mileage goal this year, but the year was off to a slow start.
Then just as spring arrived so did COVID and all the shutdowns that came with it. I literally had nowhere to hike for the entire month of April. The national parks, where I do most of my hiking, shut down first, then the forests, then the trails held by the Bureau of Land Management, then the local preserves. Even the sidewalks around the city parks were closed. There was nowhere to hike, but I was not about to spend spring cooped up indoors. The one thing left open was the city bike trails. So I purchased bikes for myself and the older kids and a trailer for my toddler and we rode all month long. And with that, I adjusted my goal of triple miles to include cycling miles. The kids and I did 70 miles of cycling in that first month.
Slowly the preserves, BLM trails, the forest and the national parks opened back up and I could take my family hiking again. By now it is summer and the heat was immense. We started seeing 100 degree days in May and they lasted well into September. And with all this heat came an alarming amount of wildfires in the west. Although I was in no danger of the wildfires themselves, all the smoke lingered in the central valley of California and it was just unhealthy to be outdoors. Once again, the forests and the national parks shut down because everything seemed to be burning. I just needed to keep myself moving. I had goals to reach! So I started doing indoor walking workouts.
I started the year with the goal of reaching triple miles; 1,098 miles to be exact (it is a leap year)! I wanted them to all be outdoors, most of them from a trail. But the year had other plans, so I adapted. I added cycling miles. I added indoor walking miles. I added yardwork miles! Those definitely count! So instead of getting as many hiking miles as I could this year, my goal looks a little different. Now my goal is to reach 365 miles each in hiking, cycling, and walking. It is mid-December and I am almost there! I didn’t get to do any of the big hikes I had planned on this year. I didn’t take the road trips or explore new trails like I wanted to. But what I did was adjust my goals and kept myself moving forward. I am 40 miles away from hitting my first triple! All because I adapted and kept pushing forward.