My mother was a single mom of four kids. She would wake up at 3 in the morning, go to her first job as a baker for a few hours, come home to send us off to school, sleep, greet us when we got back, then head out for her second job in retail for the rest of the night. I get tired just thinking about her schedule.
The most impressive part, though? On weekends, Mom would load the four of us into her Subaru wagon to go explore the vast landscapes of the state of Utah.
Mom thought it was unacceptable to live in such a beautiful place and not get out and experience it. Yes, those outings turned me into one of those tree-hugging, granola-crunching kids who wore wool socks and hiking boots in high school. And my love for hiking and exploring mountains has never stopped.
I was raised Mormon, but over the years my spiritual identity has shifted away from organized religion and today, most of my transcendent experiences come from nature. This is a sampling of lessons that I've picked up during hikes long and short. They've totally shaped my perspective, and I hope they inspire you to spend a little more time out on the trail too.