Take a Hike

Take a Hike photo
Trail leading to Angels Landing, in Zion National Park

I live in Chicago, so the CTA is my primary mode of transportation -- mostly because my pogo stick is in the shop -- but something I wish I did more was walk places. Or even just go for a stroll. Perhaps simply take an evening constitutional, a mid-day amendment, or a morning declaration -- something to get me on my feet, because gravity is always getting me down.

The funny thing is, I live so close to the parks downtown and never really go to them to take one of those constitutionals. And there's great stuff there! Like grass, Buckingham Fountain and hotdogs. Mostly the hotdogs. Using binoculars from my window I can see the carts.

The thing is, it's really nice to go for a good walk. I know this. I've actually done it before, contrary to how the beginning of this article sounds. But outside of getting from point A to point C (I say that because I was a C-section baby, which is a terrible joke but there it is) I've learned in my old age of 30 that legitimate exercise for the sake of exercise is basically an impossibility for me.

Why am I telling you all this, you ask? Well, because I've finally started to move it, move it, walk more and -- get this -- occasionally go for a hike. For you see, the catalyst is that I'm going on a family vacation to Zion National Park later this year, so I have to prepare, physically and mentally (not lethargically).

The need for this preparation comes mainly in the form of a hike we are doing known as Angel's Landing. It's a hike so treacherous, so dangerous and so many other "erouses" that few have ever attempted it! (Few is a word which here means, "hundreds every day.") And I have to go to Angel's Landing because I was always told growing up that I was such an angel, so I'm expecting a big welcoming committee when we get there.

Now, not only are we going to Zion, but we are also going to Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon as well. Canyon believe it? I'll see myself out.

And then I'll see myself back in, because I need to point out that these are two other National Parks where much hiking will be hiked, on trails I know not of. It's not a problem though because I'm going to be bringing my cliff notes. Bah-dum ching!

But knowing of this upcoming trip is what finally got me to stop letting gravity get me down and make myself get out more and take a hike. Or a walk, whichever comes first. Considering I live near the parks, usually a walk. But still it's a start!

So that's right, I started actually walking around the parks and I got to see the hotdog stands up close. I even made it to Buckingham Fountain, which made me think of a horse and carriage. No idea why.

But better than that, the walking prompted me to find out that there is a whole bunch of fun nifty hikes around Chicago that, if you're willing to drive an hour or two, make for a fun, nifty cheap weekend activity. But then I pair it with going to a new brewery, which makes it a fun, nifty, expensive and slightly more alcoholic weekend activity.

So even though exercising is still a tough sell for me, I have found going for a walk, or better yet, taking the time to go for a hike, is a good way to trick myself into getting some cardio. The problem that still remains is when I get home and see myself sweating in the mirror, I immediately call myself out on it.

"Hey! You tricked me into physical activity, wise guy!"
"No, you tricked yourself!"
(both of us giggle because touché sounds like tushy)

Regardless of my big hiking trip later this year, and despite being 30 and realizing that everything about my body is now broken, I have found I enjoy going out for a walk or better yet, taking a hike, whatever my constitutional may be.

Just whatever you do, don't look up what it means to "have a constitutional." Sure, it literally means to do "something that is good for your constitution," but if you look too deeply, it's something not as innocent.

I've said too much and you're already looking it up, aren't you? Maybe, instead you could just take a hike? Or a walk? Whichever comes first.

Adam Daniel Miller photo 3
Originally from Chicago and well, still living in Chicago, is Adam Daniel Miller -- a lover of writing, a voiceover enthusiast and an overall funny guy, according to his mother. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa Undergraduate Writing Program where he ... Read More

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