A Spring in Your Step!

This May, my partner, Jim and I hosted two young men from SE Asia for 4 weeks in our home.  This is a professional exchange program sponsored by the US State Department.  It’s always eye-opening to meet people from other countries and having them live with us was even better!  Our visitors’ goals were to learn how the US manages their natural resources and how Eco-tourism benefits the people and the land. Jim and I took them around the state to visit State and US Departments of Agriculture, Forestry and Land Conservation groups.  We had the best time being tourists ourselves and in learning more about our State of Wisconsin and the US!

The highlight of the month was a road trip north to visit Lake Superior and learn more about the Bi-National (US and Canada) efforts to keep Lake Superior clean.   We hiked in beautiful forests, saw many waterfalls and picked up Agate stones on the shore of Lake Superior. 

One day we hiked 10 kilometers through National Forests and State Parks.  As we hiked along the trails, I was often right behind one of our young visitors (age 27).   I started to notice that he had a bounce to each step.  I was curious as I hadn’t noticed anyone lately who walked this way.  Maybe I don’t hang around young people enough! 

As I watched him walk, I started to mimic his bouncing step. And as I put a spring into my steps, I remembered that I used to walk like that many years ago and my feet and legs picked up the familiar motion easily.

As I bounced down the trail, I wondered why I didn’t walk that way anymore.  I didn’t know what had made me stop, or even when I had stopped.  My body loved the extra motion and I enjoyed the hike that day much more than the previous days.  My arms swung a little higher and I smiled and felt energized!

I made the decision to always walk with that spring in my step from then on.  We have several miles of trails at home, and I have been walking them with my new bouncy strides! 

It is so easy for us to drop something from our lives that used to bring us joy. What have you forgotten about that you used to do?  Can you reintroduce it into your life?  You may be surprised that adding something simple back into your life can have a profound positive effect.  Please feel free to post in the comments what you have rediscovered!

Tracy Thaden