There are few things in life that bring me as much inner peace as a hike. The air is clear and the mountains and hills are vast. This is my happy place. Where the higher I climb, the further away my problems are. Hiking may not be your cup of tea. I mean, It's difficult, it's hot, and it's tedious. But the overall payoff is always worth the effort. Hiking has become a constant activity in my life and it's something I plan to continue. I hike for many reasons, but the following are without a doubt, the most important.

1. For self-reflection Hiking teaches you many beneficial things. From hiking I not only learned patience but the value of self-reflection. When you're out on the trails, still hours away from your destination, impatience is expected. You're headed upwards, your legs are sometimes aching. and you're not even halfway there. It is during the trek upwards that I reflect on my life, the people I have in it, the choices I have made and the ones I have yet to make. And by the time you get where you're going instantly know that those hours you put in were more than worth it, and it was all that work that makes your victory even sweeter.

2. For personal fitness True, most of the reason some choose not to hike is because of the endurance you must put in. Your legs will tire, your muscles will ache, and the pack on your back can indeed feel as though it's weighing you down. But with all this, comes an adventure. But this is my favorite kind of exercise. It's good for the body, and good for the soul,

3. For the views I have never seen as many breathtaking sights as I have when i'm hiking, from the rocks of The Royal Arch to the many lakes of Rocky Mountain State Park, I seem to always find myself rendered speechless by the beauty that surrounds me on the trails

4. For the memories Some of our family's best and more cherished memories are on the trails. My love of hiking is mostly thanks for my family's fondness for Colorado. It was from hiking that one of my favorite traditions came to be. Every summer, my mom and I hike my grandmother's favorite trail at Rocky Mountain Park. It's a six hour hike but grows more worth it with each summer.

5. For Alena That brings me to the final and most important reason. My grandmother, who passed away a couple years before I was born, lived and hiked in Rocky Mountain State Park. When I hike her favorite route, past the four lakes, and up to the peaks, I think of her. It's something my mom and I share with each other and with my grandmother's memory. Grandma Alena loved to hike and she loved those mountains. So every step I take on that trail I feel her with me.