Being a Part of a Team
Angella Wieben guest blogs for The Signpost Blog about participating on a team for Hike-a-Thon.
My first two Hike-a-Thon’s were solo affairs. Friends, family members and co-workers generously donated money to my efforts, but my time out on the trails was, with very few exceptions, entirely on my own. Truth is, I didn’t really mind hiking on my own and enjoyed my solitary hikes in support of the Hike-a-Thon.
However, with the addition of teams to the Hike-a-Thon structure last year, I am now a proud member of the second place team from 2010 (second in most team miles hiked). When I first sent out an email to my friends and family asking if anyone was interested in forming a team with me for HAT-2010, I wasn’t sure of the responses I’d get. My friends and family are a mixed bunch. Some are definitely in the “outdoorsy” category while others might be classified as more “city” people. In response to my email looking for team members, I happily received four responses and team “We Trip We Fall” was born!
One of the things I like most about our team is the diversity of hiking experience among us. My sister Cari and I grew up in a hiking family and have a lot of experience on the trails of the Cascades. Jessica and her three young kids are very new to hiking, with only a limited amount of trail time prior to joining our team. And Jaime, falls somewhere in between, with a lot of hiking experience since moving to the area more than a decade ago, but somewhat limited hiking time prior to that. As a team we are all able to share knowledge, experience and a library of hiking books with each other and encourage each other on even when we aren’t sure our feet can handle one more weekend of hiking.
Despite being a team, the four of us didn’t actually do a hike together until a couple weeks ago when we took our second place prize hike from last year with Langdon Cook and foraged for porcini mushrooms. Despite poor weather, swarms of mosquitoes and a disappearing trail, our team had a great time together. We laughed, teased and encouraged each other on the trail and the next day commiserated over bug bites together.
As a participant in Hike-a-Thon you are already part of a team, a large team working to make sure trails are maintained and accessible for those who want to enjoy them. As a member of a Hike-a-Thon team, however, you are part of a support group who will encourage you to keep on hiking in late August when you’re really very tired of hiking, who will share their favorite hiking destinations with you, and who will be a hiking buddy if you don’t want to hike solo.
So what are you waiting for? It's not too late! Round up a friend (or five) pick a team name and start hiking! Even if you start today, you can still count all of those miles you've already hiked this month.
Angella Wieben is a Washington Trails Association member and four time Hike-a-Thon participant. Hike-a-Thon is sponsored by Mountain Hardwear - Seattle Store.