Last fall Beth Silva headed out for a Hike it Baby Portland hike but enroute she checked Facebook and the mama leading the hike was concerned about rain so she cancelled the hike. Beth and Ramona had their hearts set on a hike though and the weather didn’t look bad, so she decided to hit up Lower Macleay anyway.
Sure enough it wasn’t more than a sprinkle and as she hiked along this little section of the Wildwood trail she started thinking about how cool it would be if she could get some other moms to hike all of the 30-miles of this inner city trail in Portland. So, she did what any inspired Hike it Baby mom does on a hike, she texted the first person she thought would be game enough to hit this trail rain or shine until 30 miles were done.
That was me. I don’t remember exactly where I was when the text came in, but my instant reaction was “Brilliant! I am in.” In fact that might have been my text back. Within a few hours we had both amassed tons of iPhone text messages back and forth with a lot of exclamation points and “hell yeah!” and “totally” in there. We also decided we were going to throw out an invite to the whole Hike it Baby community across the country to join in the Hike it Baby 30 Challenge. We didn’t really think anyone would join in.
Thus began our “sub” community of hardcore enthusiasts here in Portland that we now fondly call the “Wildwood Core Crew.” And it spread quickly across the country.
In November over 300 families signed up and hiked almost 10,000 miles. Beth, along with a handful of mamas in Portland got in 60+ miles on the Wildwood trail (completely blowing the 30 miles out of the water with all of their out and backs!) I personally pulled off 54 miles, which I was amazed at. In the final weekend I realized I had 8 miles to go to really complete the Wildwood so I did 3 hikes to bang it out! And I wasn’t alone. I could have never done it alone. All around me other mamas and papas propped me up when I felt like I just couldn’t get out there. It was a team effort that we all knew could never have been accomplished without the Challenge. We were on a mission.
In the 0-30 degree weather of January almost 300 families hiked 275,000 miles. It was so exciting to watch the group share their experiences and talk about the trials and tribulations of getting out there with a little one in the rain and snow and zero degree weather. Not to mention the sickness and sleepless nights!
Now it’s March. The cherry blossoms are peeking their little pink buds, krokus flowers are bursting out of the ground, the grass is turning deep green and it’s time to really start hiking. This Challenge is about 30 miles in 30 days or 30 minutes 3 times a week. You decide what works for your Challenge.
After winter this is going to be easy!
The bonus is this time we are asking that you all think up a personal challenge for yourself. How about trying to hike 4 new trails you have never done? What about taking out a friend who has never hiked? How about tandem wearing? What is it you want to get out there and do?
Remember anyone can do the Challenge. We start March 1! Just make the commitment and do it. If you want to join the Hike it Baby 30 Community you will get the tools that go along with our Challenge to help you stick with it. We have a system to log and track your hikes so you can see what you have done, a downloadable PDF you can leave in your car or post on the fridge so you can write up hikes you want to do or have done and not forget! Also we add you to the private community so you can share your stories and pictures with each other.
Hike it Baby 30 is an awesome way for introverts to be a part of something without much effort and extroverts to show off their sassy selves all over Facebook and in their community. It’s fun to do alone with your little one or to partner up with a friend.
I, for one, have never been much good and sticking with things like this. However, I found that somehow being accountable in so many ways (online and offline) I am actually able to hike it out through rain and snow, sun and sleepless nights. Who’s ready to do the Hike it Baby 30!? Just a few days and counting. See you all out there.
–Shanti and Mason