Let me preface this post by saying that I’ve never been one for exercise. At the very mention of running, I’m known to start coughing. However, lately I’ve been feeling more inspired to lose weight and become more fit and healthy. I found out from my friend Devin Joubran about the trails at Oak Mountain, so we decided to round up a group and go.
The trail we chose was the shortest one that Oak Mountain has to offer, the green trail. Though the shortest of the trails at 1.9 miles, it is also extremely steep. According to the Oak Mountain website, the trail rises from approximately 550 feet to 1100 feet along the side of the mountain.
Upon beginning the trail, I figured that the exercise wouldn’t be too bad. I’ve gone to the gym before and walked two miles on a treadmill at a leisurely stroll before, so this wouldn’t be a problem, right? Wrong. From the beginning of the trail, I found myself struggling desperately to keep up with the rest of the group.
I found myself chafing against my limits as I push up the trail, stopping for water far too many times and losing momentum. Hard, painful rocks push up against the soles of my tennis shoes which were clearly never meant for hiking, and I found myself stumbling over the various trees roots sticking up from the ground and cluttering the path.
However, even as I was distracted by the pains in my legs, I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful the trees outlining the path were as the sunlight streamed through their branches while a pleasant breeze across my sweat covered face.
When we finally reached the second mile of the trail, the path got noticeably less harsh. I found myself greeted by a mostly even incline and a smoother walk. I felt much happier during this stretch of the walk as my ankles were given a break from straining to reach higher elevations. The scenery was also nicer, the sides of the trail being populated by various types of shrubbery and flowers.
After we finally reached the car at the end of the path, I started to think about my experience. Was it difficult? Yes. Did I feel like I was going to vomit a number of times from the stress? Yes. But would I do it again? Also a resounding yes. There was something very glorious about pushing myself to my limits and finding that I could exceed them. I hope to visit Oak Mountain or some of the other local hiking areas sometime again in the near future.