Our First HiB 30 was a huge success:
My first Hike it Baby 30 was in June of 2015. My son and I crushed the 30 mile goal, and my naive self thought that this would always be the case. Well, a lot has changed in the past two years. My now 3-year-old only wants to be on his own two feet, and a baby sister (6 months) has been added to the mix. I also work five days a week. As a teacher, my first challenge was work-free since it was in the summer. As you can see, this challenge was very different from my first.
Hike it Baby 30 from a different perspective:
We did attempt the January HiB 30 this year, and needless to say, we were complete failures. I could make every excuse there is – I was returning to work after maternity leave, I was balancing two kids with completely different hiking styles and differing needs on the trail, and I was living in Cleveland with winter weather. I was honestly not even going to register for the challenge, but when it was included in my Hike it Baby annual membership, I gave it a shot, and it didn’t go well in terms of mileage or outdoor time. That month I felt like I was just trying to stay afloat as a working mom of two, so the challenge took a backseat.
Getting Closer to Our Goals:
The April challenge had me feeling more optimistic. Spring (should have) arrived in Cleveland and I had my spring break from school. We ended up doing much better than the January challenge, but we did not meet our mileage goal of 30 (we came close at 25.83 miles for my son and 21.58 miles for my daughter).
Since not meeting the 30 miles did bum me out a bit, I decided to come up with 30 memories from the challenge instead. When I look back at all that was accomplished in terms of prioritizing outdoors time, spending time with family, exploring new places, and having fun, this challenge was a true success.
So here are my top 30 Hike it Baby 30 memories in no particular order:
- My son walked all of his miles for the first time during a challenge!
- Witnessing my son spot a frog in a pond. The look of excitement makes up for the lack of miles at toddler speed.
- Getting some miles in with Grandma and Grandpa.
- So many beautiful spring flowers!
- Checking out a national park (Saguro National Park).
- Hearing my son begging to go for a walk.
- Scheduling a family post-nap trip to the neighborhood playground on Sundays. We will definitely keep this up after the challenge!
- Watching the friendships my son develops, whether on a HiB hike or just playing at the playground.
- Seeing my son hike the Waterfall Trail at the White Tank Mountains on his own two feet. The last time we visited my parents and took that trail (December 2015), he was in a carrier (the same one his sister was in this time)!
- The look of amazement in my daughter’s eyes as she watched the tree leaves blowing in the wind.
- Spotting three chuckwallas in Arizona during a hike.
- Seeing cacti in bloom.
- Enjoying dinners outside.
- Lots of babywearing snuggles.
- Shoes covered in desert dust.
- Toddler talks about shadows, birds, and trees.
- Walking to get ice cream.
- My husband and son getting some one-on-one time.
- Getting some one-on-one time with my daughter.
- Exploring the Cleveland Botanical Gardens and enjoying the tulips.
- Building a snowman with my son. In April. In Cleveland.
- Splashing around in a pool.
- Hanging a bird feeder with my son and checking in on it throughout the challenge. Sadly, the squirrels got it.
- Pre-dinner walks. It may have been straight from the car to the neighborhood, but we worked to get miles in way we could, even if in the end we didn’t reach 30.
- Seeing the beauty of the world through other HiB 30 participants in the Facebook group. What adventures our members have!
- Becoming more organized. I don’t know if this will stick around after the challenge, but I found myself more organized because I wanted to prioritize getting outside. Researching hikes before heading on vacation, planning slow cooker meals, and writing down goals for the week really helped.
- My son asking to go to “Hiken Baby.”
- Experiencing all four seasons in one month. Even without a trip to Arizona, we got the weather of all four seasons right in Cleveland!
- Playing on a playground with a shade over it. The shade allowed the playground to be used in the Arizona heat.
- Listening to my son identify the shapes of clouds while walking.
When I look back on this list, I realize the 30 miles are not really what’s important. Having those lasting memories is the real prize.
Editor Note: Join us this September for our Hike it Baby 30 challenge and create some lasting memories of your own. Do you have some memories from a past Hike it Baby 30 that are important to you? Share them with us below!