There are a LOT of great hiking blogs out there these days.
By no means do I put myself in the same category of some of the career hiking bloggers that have devoted themselves to equipping and informing hikers everywhere. Not by a long shot.
I work in a government 9-5 job, well 7-3 in fact. I have a beautiful 4 year old little person and I’ve been married for almost 7 years.
I don’t hike the Kimberley canyons or spend 7 days out in Karajini so that I can write a post about camping fatigue or how to extract water from eucalyptus leaves. Not for a lack of ability or desire but because I have to life first. I don’t think I’m alone in this situation.
I rarely get the opportunity to do overnighters. In fact, in the past 4 years I haven’t spent a single night away from the little one.
But why “The Heavy Hiker”?
Well, I’m overweight and it often feels like its assumed that heavy people don’t do things. Heavy people don’t hike, or ride their bikes or go skydiving. But I do and I feel like, if given the opportunity and the courage, other heavy people would too.
These days’ weight is a ‘big’ issue. A lot of us aren’t just overweight, we’re firmly planted in the big ‘O’ range.
It’s such a horrible word and conjures up images of people sprawled across the couch, bags of doritos littering the floor and 3 empty bottles of coke lined up at the foot of the chair.
Some of us are here because the diet and exercise message just never landed, that is true, but some of us here for legitimate cause. Me? I’m a little of column A and a little column B.
I have polycystic ovaries, which is badly named and is actually an endocrine disorder which results, in a lot of cases, in insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The ovary problem is just the tip of the iceberg. The truth of it is, it could also be used as a cop out for not trying anymore.
Part of the reason I took up hiking as a regular activity was in an effort to control my weight. But hiking once a fortnight around the obligations of life was never going to be enough to manage my weight and the reality is I still haven’t worked out how to ‘control’ my weight.
I don’t advocate for being overweight but I do advocate for people doing life in a thrilling and exciting way regardless of what they weigh and that is why I named this blog ‘The Heavy Hiker’.
My point is that this blog isn’t about trying to mix it with the ‘Real Hikers’.
If all of us openly and honestly shared our experiences in life maybe we could remove the stigma associated with issues like weight or depression, or whatever it is that ails you.
Life is hard, regardless of your circumstances. It’s difficult for all of us in different ways.
But a lot of the time we make it worse for ourselves by focusing on our problems and resigning ourselves to our ailments.
I refuse to let my size dictate my quality of life. And so should you.
Hike. Ride your bike in full lycra. Go skydiving and wear the jump-suit. Dive in the shark tank in a full wet-suit.
Stop allowing your size restrict you from doing what you have decided you want to do.
If, by sharing my experience as The Heavy Hiker, I can inspire even 1 person to get out amongst it then it will have been worth it.