Finding New Activities – Hiking with Dad

going hiking

Me soon!

When I was at my lowest weight, looking back, it was pretty scary. I felt tired all the time and I was cold even  when everyone else felt fine. I never wanted to do anything but sleep and avoid people and even if I had decided that I wanted to go out and do something, I physically couldn’t, I was too weak and frail and got tired too quickly. Ana is a real b.

Losing interest in living life and enjoying activities totally sucks and now that I am stronger I have extra energy and I want to get out and explore and have fun. After spending so much time cooped up inside I really wanted to get outside and do something see the sky and the beauty of nature and just feel the warm sun. I also want to reconnect with the people in my life I care about, my friends and especially my family, who I lost touch with when I was lost in the darkness.

My Dad loves nature too and he often goes out hiking in all sorts of places, taking pictures of beautiful places and animals and going lots of places. So to kill two birds with one stone I asked him if he would help teach me what I needed to know and let me go with him sometime. Since he is really into it, he has all sorts of cool gear from fancy looking hiking boots and walking sticks to a big sun hat and nice camera but I was starting with just some sweatpants, a t shirt and a pair of running shoes. He was really excited when I asked and it actually made me more excited too seeing him like that and he began to go over some of the basics. Since I have weak bones and not a lot of strength for walking in my feet and ankles he said that the first thing to do was get a good pair of supportive, comfortable hiking boots. Being a guy, he wasn’t sure on the best hiking boots for women but he helped me find a pair that would give me what I need after some research online. I can’t wait for them to get here!

Another thing he taught me was about protection from the sun. I said I wanted to go out and feel the sun, but that doesn’t mean I want to turn into a lobster! I’m still really pale and so I need all the protection I can get. We packed a bag with sunscreen (SPF 60), a refillable Nalgene water bottle and one of his old wide brimmed hats that fit me. I used to faint really easily after doing even a bit of work, and even though I’ve been getting stronger I still want to take every precaution, so a bit of shade and plenty of hydration is important. The hiking boots are the most important piece of gear, since they connect you to the trail, he said, but all the other stuff makes the whole package work.

I also got a breathable shirt to wear since cotton shirts absorb sweat and get soaked in minutes and don’t dry out, which sounds pretty bad. So when that and my awesome new hiking boots get here me and my Dad are going to give it a try. It’s been great to reconnect with my Dad and I’ve been really happy just spending time with him learning about something he enjoys and really want to try it with him. I think he’s been glad too, it is really nice and feels like we are connecting a bit like we used to.