How Hiking Can Change Your Fitness & Your Spiritual Life

YOUR FITNESS & YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE

YOUR FITNESS & YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFEDid you hike as a kid? I wish someone introduced me to hiking growing up. I grew up in Hawaii, which has some of the most amazing places to hike. I only discovered hiking now that I am in my late 30’s and one time on vacation one of my friends I grew up with showed me a few different trails on Oahu. Another one of my best friends has become a very avid hiker. I thought with National Trails Day this past weekend that I would interview her about her adventures.

Meet Christine Umayam, she is an expert media producer, philanthropist, traveler and adventure seeker. You can even catch her wander lusting around the world on Instagram. When I think of her and all of the Hiking Trails and Adventures she has completed, I thought she was going on some type of soul seeking mission. The quote that reminds me of her is this, “Not all who wander, are lost.” As you will read in my interview she has not only found out more about herself and her capabilities, which makes her so powerful.

What got you into hiking?
I was at an art opening at a bar in downtown Seattle when I started talking to someone about Spain.  He was a Spanish teacher and he traveled to Spain to do the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage route through Northern Spain.  I knew at that instant that I wanted to do that.  So after several months, I ventured on my very first hike.  I hiked 120km through Northern Spain. After this amazing experience, I was hooked and now I hike all over the world and in my own backyard of Washington State.

Which trail has been the best one so far?
The most amazing hike I’ve done was retracing the footsteps of my grandfather, Ignacio Umayam.  He was forced to walk the Bataan Death March in World War II.  I wanted to do something in honor of him so I walked the whole March, all 70 miles of it in the high heat of the Philippines during the hottest month of the year.  It was to celebrate the WWII anniversary of the Death March. Not only was this culturally enriching and filled with historical perspective but it’s the best so far because I was able to walk in honor of my grandfather.

What has been the most impactful hike you have been on?
I’ve hiked the Camino de Santiago 3 times.  Once from Sarria to Santiago, another time from the border of Portugal to Santiago in Spain and the last was through the Pyrenees Mountains starting in France.

All experiences have been impactful because each time I go I get closer to God in many ways.  It gives me a closer connection to the divine.

Which trail has been the toughest for you?
Bataan Death March over 100 degree weather for 5 days.

Which was the longest hike you ever been on?
120km of the Camino.  My goal is to do all 800 km in the coming years.

Which has been the easiest?
Washington state is filled with many hikes I love to go on.  The easiest is Wallace Falls near Sultan, WA

How do you prepare your health and fitness before going on a hike?
I work out every day so I don’t need to prepare.  It’s just a part of my daily routine.

Which one is the best to take your dogs?
The best one for dogs is Rattlesnake Mountain and Wallace Falls

What type of food do you take?
Protein bars, almonds, sometimes sandwiches for longer hikes.

What type of liquids do you take?
water… plenty of water

What are your must have hiking gear?
My Black Diamond hiking poles (for women)
A water bladder for longer hikes
Good hiking boots!  I have North Face and Merrill hiking boots.

What tips would you give to a hiking beginner?
Bring plenty of water on your first hike
Get fitted for the right hiking boots for your feet.  Extremely important

What’s next on your list of hikes to complete?
One day I’ll do the whole Camino de Santiago in one complete session of 800+km.
Patagonia in Chile
Everest in Nepal

As you can see, she is amazing. Does this interview make you want to venture out and maybe even join Christine on her next Spanish adventure? I hope that it at least inspired you to google a trail or two in your own neighborhood and take the family out this weekend. Going hiking is a great way to breathe in the fresh air and a fun way to get some exercise. Personally the only way I have been able to accomplish my fitness goals is to make sure to have a purpose and to make it fun.

Did you enjoy this article on How Hiking Can Change Your Fitness & Your Spiritual Life? Comment below and make sure to share it with me or on Facebook!

Much Love & Aloha,
Stacia Kennedy

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Stacia Kennedy’s Fitness & Mommy Blog
Email: Stacia@StaciaKennedy.com
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