How many of you like to hike? Like the outdoors? Like nature? Any type of hiking counts, especially if you live in a flat boring state as I do. But I have had the beautiful opportunity of hiking at Breakneck Ridge in Cold Spring, NY. Once in 2016 and just yesterday!!! The first time was in May and I had started working out in Jan and was running/walking about 15 miles a week by the time I went hiking. It was so hard. I'm from Chicago so we have no mountains lol so my view of hiking was walking the trails in the Forest Perserve, which I loved. I always loved walking. It was apart of my daily life of living in a big city. But I was so surprised when I arrived in NY when I saw how many hills and mountains they actually had. But as I sat on the train on my way there someone told me to picture this mountain as my life. As I get higher I should look at it as all the things I have survived and accomplished and conquered throughout out my life. And when I arrived to the base of that mountain its like my brain went clear and my body just knew what to do. All my energy went to my muscles and just did what I needed to do to get to the first outlook where a flag stood. When I got to the flag not only challenging my body but facing my fear of heights, I cried. Not only because I worked so hard to get my body ready for this but because it really made me think as I took every step and climbed every rock, pushed and pulled myself up there that I really have conquered my past. It was the most beautiful view I've ever seen. Being out there makes you appreciate the view more since only you can get yourself there. The view of all the trees, the water and my favorite the rocks just makes me so relaxed. The sun shining on your face warming your skin. And the breeze of the wind. It's magic. I climbed and walked and climbed and walked and climbed some more. All I remember is a clear mind and I can feel every inch of my body working hard to get me further to the top. Heart beating and me breathing, the feel of sticks and leaves breaking with every step. The feel of rock and dirt in my hands as I push and pull and jump to the next step. I've read articles saying it is beneficial to walk barefoot in the grass. That it relaxes you and releases endorphins. And maybe thats what hiking can do too. The sight of nature and sound of your feet hitting the earth, the feel of it between your fingers and the wind and sun on your skin. It literally makes me so happy. After hours and hours of hiking I finally reached the highest lookout point called the fire tower. I'm here!!! I made it to the top!!! I laid at the base of the tower and closed my eyes. That's right mountain (my life) I have conquered you! All you threw at me I still did it and made it to where I knew I belonged. As I opened my eyes, I was a new Sarah. On to the fire tower. Its probably 5 storys tall and its just metal stairs and handrails. Shaky, bent in some places, and with every step sound like it can fall at any moment. I got to the top, the wind blowing so hard and knuckles white from gripping the rails but so proud I faced my fear. As I headed back down the mountain I could not be any happier. And after that day my life only got better. It literally had to die at the top of that mountain so I can start my new life. And here I am again 4.5 years later hiking again. I'm 10 lbs heavier and definitely not in shape. But I pushed through it. It was definitely harder than I remember. But more beautiful. This time the mountain is different, its winter. So all the trees are bare and you could see further in the trees ahead of you. And I wish I could have that view everyday. I took a different route this time and after the hard part of get up there now I could take a fun steep way down. From all the melting snow the water washed all the fall leaves onto the path and it was so slippery. But I was able to see some new beautiful rocks!! A few paths were flooded so I had to trailblaze off to the side. And I look at this log and say to myself "its going to twisted you're going to fall" nah I'll be fine. BAM my ass falls. Twisted my ankle banged my shin. I got up fine and was able to walk for another hour. I felt good that I was able to accomplish with trail I did take but also felt defeated since last time I went further. As soon as I sat my ass down on the train my ankle began to hurt. Hurt real bad. I had to hop my ass around NY through 2 trains and back to the house. But luckily I took a shower, kicked my leg up and took a nap and the next day my ankle was just fine. Which is good because I'm going back tomorrow to try and get to the fire tower again!!!!!! Wish me luck!! Next hike is hopefully in Arizona!