Hiking Shenandoah National Park

The weekend has come and almost gone. Hopefully everyone had as good of weather as Northern Virginia! My weekend was filled with a lot of physical activity, and really great “together” time with my boyfriend. We went to Shenandoah National Park and did two hikes. We are working on getting into better physical shape, so this was going to be a good start.

Our first hike was a rock scramble and was a lot of fun… until we got to a portion where there was a “nearly” vertical climb accompanied by a straight way down (like, your never coming back up if you fall, type of distance) if you had one slip of the foot. I was doing great until I got to this spot, which just happened to be right after another vertical climb. It was going to be a bit difficult to turn back since there was a large group of people coming behind us. I totally psyched myself out and froze! In the end, the other group also felt it was too much and turned around, which luckily allowed me to backtrack as well. Talk about feeling defeated! I was really irritated with myself for not pushing through my fear and just doing it. The problem wasn’t my physical ability, it was my fearful mindset. Jason want’s to go back by the end of summer for me to accomplish it, but to be quite honest, I don’t want to:( Just thinking about it is enough to bring back the willies! I really learned that my mentality can hinder my success the same way physical ability can.

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 Our second hike was a much more mellow three miles round trip to a waterfall. I don’t think I would want to go on this particular trail again soon, just because the return hike was a bit brutal and boring. However, it was a great experience and worth the view of the falls. The first 1.5 miles was a slightly steep downward hike, and the other 1.5 miles was going back the opposite direction, UP the very same path we came. The trip as a whole was a success, and we definitely got a good work out.

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 We stopped at the grocery store on our way to the mountain to get our days worth of snacks. I made sure to get healthy foods that were transportable: Apples, oranges, bananas, a ThinkThin protein bar (my favorite), and lots of water. I also bought a separate breakfast and ate it on the drive to the park. Having so many healthy options allowed me to refuel throughout the day without filling up too much at once. I think the worst feeling can be getting bogged down with a super full stomach when you have a long way to hike. For me, bringing along a protein bar, or anything else a bit more hardy ( I said hardy, not heavy!), is a great way to keep me feeling energized during a mid-day break.

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When we were done for the day, we stopped at Subway for a larger meal and headed home. We were both worn out and ready for a long rest, but I can’t wait to go again. We hope to get a camping trip worked into one of our weekends this summer, and there are plenty of places to camp in Shenandoah.

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