When I joined Hike it Baby, I was joining to get outside more, make healthier habits, possibly meet new people and prevent my children from climbing the furniture. Hike it Baby accomplished all of that; well, except that last bit about furniture, they’re more fearless than ever.
As any caregiver can tell you, that road we walk is sometimes very lonely. The way we have structured our society increases this sense of isolation. This organization, for me, was a way to very personally shatter that isolation.
Instead of loneliness, I feel solitude.
Instead of depression, I feel the excitement of a hike planned or group of friends meeting.
I have been given goals and challenges and a huge experience to share with my boys. I have relearned how to love this huge wonderful planet and the natural world around me.
That is why I’m thankful for this journey I’m on and the role Hike it Baby has played in it.
Here are some reasons why other members of Hike it Baby are thankful this year:
“I’m thankful (to Hike it Baby) for never having to hike alone!” -Chelsea Chandler
“Hiking makes me feel grounded again. It helps ease my high functioning anxiety and helps me feel like I can breathe and get through my day. It helps me reconnect with my toddler and it helps both of us feel less frustrated with each other. It’s basically a “restart” for us.” -Katy Severe
“I am thankful for a supportive community that accepts me and my very wild child for who we are!” -Annie Fortunado
“I’m thankful because HiB has given me a community of friends who are like family, a way to get my son outside and engaging with other children more often than I could do on my own, and keeps my sanity on days where the future of my mental state is questionable. I am so thankful for finding Hike it Baby when we did.” -Megan Rose
“I am thankful for Hike it Baby because it gives me a sense of purpose. I absolutely love and appreciate being a parent to my littles, but once I left my career to be a full-time stay-at-home mom, it was an unexpected hard transition in my life. I knew I needed an outlet as I was slowly losing my mind and in desperate need of friends who I could relate to, daily activities for us and something positive & healthful to gear our energy and time. I’m so thankful that I found that (and more) in my local branch. My kids and I have made friendships that I hope can last a lifetime and we have developed a love and understanding of nature we never had prior to HiB. I have always been someone that felt as though they never fit in anywhere or with anyone, but once I found Hike it Baby I found my community.” -Kaitlyn Gingrich
“I am thankful for a community who came together and cared for my family when I couldn’t because my baby was born prematurely. They came every day with food. They played with my kids. They packed me snacks. They gathered school supplies for my oldest who was starting Pre-K. One member (who is a certified instructor) even came and taught us infant CPR. We have an amazing HiB family.” –Shannon Rinelli
“I’m thankful for the opportunities that Hike it Baby has opened for me in my community. I have an awesome job working at a nature immersion preschool program and I am allowed to bring my son with me. I would never have had that opportunity if it wasn’t for my Hike it Baby presence in the community. I also recently started a small business as a children’s yoga instructor and the connections I have made through Hike it Baby has been invaluable in building my business. Not to mention, I moved to a new town and started a new branch, immediately I found my community! Everyone my son and I know in Charleston, we know because of Hike it Baby. It has been amazing watching the community evolve with the Hike it Baby presence!” –Nicholl Summers
“I’m grateful that because of HiB, I found friends who support me, understand me and some of them I have never even met in person. Without HiB, I would have never found a job that I actually enjoy doing and gave me the courage to go back to school and pursue it. Somehow, HiB helped me break free from what was bogging me down in all aspects of my life (mentally, physically, spiritually) and is the glue that holds me together when I slip and feel like I am failing. I’m so grateful to be able to be a small part of it!” –Christel Peters
Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/ashleydscheiderphotography/
Thanks to Heidi for compiling these testimonials of gratitude! Are YOU thankful for hiking? Share your story with us below!