Hiking 95 Miles with Kids

Over 11 days this girl hiked 95 miles. It was absolutely amazing and a privilege to watch. But I’d like to dispel a myth: It was NOT easy and NONE of it happened naturally. In telling the story of our hikes we find it’s easy for people to say “YOUR kids are amazing” essentially saying that OUR kids must be super ambitions and THEIR kids could never do that. This might sound obvious but, at the age of 4, Filia would never wake up in the morning and start walking 11 mile segments. It took an outside vision, creating constant short term incentivisation, coaching through some tears, dealing with the pace and attention span of a 4 year old (which is VERY slow — she once fell asleep literally on the trail), and a little caffeine.

We started off seeing a pre-schooler on the trail as a liability. What we didn’t realize is that the unity it creates, the excitement and reward we felt, and the constant dying to self that it forced was one of the most rewarding aspects of the entire experience that we would not trade for anything. Children REALLY are a gift but sometimes it takes some cultural adjustments to be able to see that. We’re thankful for the ways this trail has helped us appreciate our kids.

Originally posted on FB 8/17/15