Tag Archives: nature

Nature is my Medicine

With my feet having recovered from the overzealous hike from the previous weekend, and after having a rough anxiety filled day yesterday, I felt I needed to get out and spend some time alone with my thoughts. With the kids in school, I returned to the Green Mountains, wearing my trusty old tennis shoes this time, and began the trek I had gone before. The mud from the previous weekend had finally dried up, making the way easier, and I also decided to leave my hearing aids behind for this hike. I plugged in my headphones and cranked up my music, but I made sure I stayed to the right side of the path so bikers could just pass me if they came.

I like being deaf, and I also like just listening to music. One thing I will mention – music does sound different without my hearing aids. I hear the low sounds more than I do the higher pitches. When I have my hearing aids, I can hear a higher range of high pitches, though there are some high pitches I will never hear.

I was walking along the long stretch of the trail where there were several forks in the road for other trails, and I decided I didn’t want to walk the 8.9 miles of the weekend before. One fork looked inviting, and without hesitation, I strode down that path feeling confident I would find my way back to my car before it was time to get my kids.

I stayed to the right of the narrower trail, even though I had not seen very many hikers or bikers. I found an easy pace and found that this trail was one I liked. It dipped, turned, ascended, and descended along the small mountainside. It was definitely not a boring path! A couple of bikers and hikers passed me in that hour I walked this peaceful and narrow trail, and a few even smiled and waved as they went by. They were enjoying it as much as I was.

When I came to a part where the current trail met up with main one that looped around the mountain, I realized my hike was almost over. A mile and a half more was to the parking lot, but after the past 4 miles, I was beginning to feel the need to rest and go home. It was then I realized I wasn’t feeling any symptoms of anxiety. I was relaxed, breathing normally, my heart rate was normal (elevated from hiking but not from panic), and it was such a relief. I felt such a joy and a peace, and I was so thankful to have some respite from what I was feeling lately.

Unfortunately, it didn’t last long. When I got home and was resting after having cleaned myself up, the symptoms flared up and I had no choice but to take some medicine to help calm the symptoms.

As I waited for the symptoms to ease, I began to think about what had transpired.

Being outside had always been a place of peace for me, and hiking allowed my body to be in that place. The mountain isn’t something that man made. God did. I had medicine to help me ease the symptoms of the Anxiety Attacks, but the true peace was when I was around God’s creation.

Oh, I wish I could stay out there in nature all the time, but that’s not what God wants me to do. I realize now I have to take what peace I found out there in Him and bring it into the crazy and man made life I live in.

Isaiah hiking picture

I found this verse today, as well as a wonderful quote from St. Augustine of Hippo, “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds rest in thee.”

I have to remember I’m made for Him, and my heart will find it’s rest in God.

It doesn’t mean these symptoms will go away and never come back. I am still struggling with the symptoms, even though I trust God to take care of me. He will hold me. My heart might race, my hands might shake, I might feel claustrophobic, but, despite all that, He will hold me.

I have to believe that. I’ll remember the peace I had on that trail, and I’ll try to bring it into my everyday life. But on days I struggle and need to breathe and find peace, I’ll just be out on that trail with music blasting into my deaf ears. Thankfully, I have that!


Running through the Battlefield

I ran today.

And boy did it feel good, despite the 90 degree weather outside.

I had always wanted to trail run since I’ve always enjoyed being around nature, and today, I grabbed a chance to do it, albeit the timing wasn’t probably the best.

I live probably one and a half mile away from Battlefield of Manassas National Park, and there are beautiful trails all around the park. I decided to take the 1.3 mile trail to the stone bridge and back. I knew I was in for a rough one with the heat being up and the humidity slightly making the 90 degree weather feel more like 95.

Did I care? No. I was going to do it anyways.

I packed my android with some fun funky music – Green Day, Black Eyed Peas, Shania Twain, and, my favorite, Safri Duo, (I am in dire need of updating my library, but what is this mom going to do? LOL) turned on my “Map my Run”, and started jogging through the grassy hills.

Once I hit the woods, it was fantastic. My energy was at an all time high, and the trees cooled the air around me. I was able to keep up a good pace for probably a half a mile to three quarters of a mile, and then I had to slow down to a native of the lands – a doe staring at me jogging towards her. I was so sure she would dart off as soon as I made eye contact with her, but she didn’t trot off until I was at ten feet away from her. There was no fear in her eyes, but she was still wary of us humans. I was able to keep going until I took a left onto a new path toward the bridge. I had to slow down to a quick walk to check my heart rate, and I was able to get back into running down the path for quite a while. It was until I hit a patch of the trail where there was no tree coverage and the heat began wear me out. I decided then to turn around.

I did try to run back, and it was hard doing that when my body was beginning to reach the point of exhaustion. Yes, I wanted to throw up. I walked until that feeling went away for the most part, and then I would start run again. One thing I noticed is that I ran better when I just looked ahead three feet in front of me, instead of looking way out. “It’s just like the lamp onto my feet. I only need to see what’s right in front of me. There will be strength to make it through those three feet. ” It is the same way with everyday life. God knows we get easily overwhelmed with the vastness of our lives, and we can handle taking one step at a time, even when we feel like we are running in high heat. It was an encouraging life lesson as I ran. To encourage me even more, I ran into another deer, and this one stayed there until I just about passed her, and even then she just lightly trotted away as if she knew I wouldn’t hurt her. God’s nature is beautiful!

I couldn’t run the whole way, but I did the best I could, and I will continue to do better. Next time I will pick a much cooler time to run! Hopefully I will have an opportunity to do so… Being a mom with two kids doesn’t give me too many chances to do that. Perhaps weekends when the hubby is home. 🙂