Recently a friend of ours and I took our sons on a hike. Paul and I have hiked before, but most of those “adventures” involved fairly short distances, or longer trips with the support of a jogging stroller in case he got tired. This was his first real hike that included climbing in some nearby hills. With water and snacks loaded in my backpack, we set off to Red Rock Canyon to hike the Lost Creek Trail.
I may not be the model of fitness but as I tell my son, I do my best to stay healthy so I can play with him and earn the milk money. I also want him to grow up seeing fitness as an integrated part of life: not overkill, not a fad or trend, just a regular part of living. I’ve been a hiker and jogger most of my adult life and used to take Paul with me in a jogging stroller. That continued until he grew bored with it.
I think the day will come soon when he might be interested in jogging, but for now, when the weather permits, we’ll hike. Some of the hikes we’ve already taken are “adventures” following local trails through public parks. This hike was through an unimproved area: uneven and dissimilar surfaces, hills, bugs, sticks, cacti, etc. Every turn presented something visually and physically new. We even found a stream shrouded within an area with some reasonably substantial brush. He loved it!
As a father I can only hope that my son grows up willing to exercise himself in a manner that links a genuine desire for a lifestyle of physical fitness to a love of exploring and enjoying the outdoors.
It’s great to be a dad!