One of the gifts that I have been given is a strong pair of legs. Growing up on the lower portion of Queen Anne hill was also a blessing, as it got me started young in climbing up hills. We walked about a mile to school each day and the first four or five blocks where all up hill. So it was only natural for me I guess to love walking up hills!
Walking the Camino, we encountered several mountain passes we had to cross, the first and largest one, was the first day of the walk. We climbed a total of 4600 feet and then descended back down another 1600 feet before arriving at our destination, Roncesvalles. Boy, were we tired that night and thankful for a place to rest our heads! Those strong legs and my love of hiking up hills served me well that day.
I have also worked very hard this past year, to keep my legs fit as I realize how important they are to keeping my love of hiking up hills going! I recently came across a New York Times article on another benefit of a keeping a strong set of legs, it may lead to a stronger mind! A new identical twins study has found that there is a link between muscular power (especially in the legs) and a sharper mind.
One of the reasons I was so intrigued by this research study, is due to the fact that my mother had Alzheimer’s disease. My siblings and I all share the concern we might also find ourselves victims of this disease. As a result of this concern, several of my sisters have been very proactively working to keep their minds sharp (e.g. learning to play piano, taking a foreign language). Now it looks like my hiking is also going be helpful as well!
The study “results imply that whatever your genetic make-up, building muscles can strengthen your mind, and should your legs currently be spindly, you might want to consider walking, running, standing or dancing more often.”
So there is my word of encouragement for you all! Keep moving and building up those leg muscles!
Here is the NY Times article for those that are interested.
Photograph of the Week
This image was taken during a hike this late fall to Goat Lake (Trail off the Mountain Loop Highway). It was rainy, cold hike along a beautiful creek (Elliot Creek). This photograph was taken near the beautiful falls that are just below Goat Lake.