The Most Beautiful Green is in the Desert

Yesterday I was at my daughter’s soccer game and it so happens that a friend of mine that I haven’t seen since high-school has a daughter on the same team. We were catching up on what we are both up to since high school and he asked me a question that kind of struck me. He asked, “So what do you do in your free time?”. That’s not an odd question to ask but what struck me about it is that I didn’t really have a very good answer. I was at a loss for coming up with something that seemed remotely interesting. I told him that I read, go to movies, and hang out with Holly and Ava but beyond that I had nothing really. I began to think, “Yeah, what DO I do with all my free time?” Most guys would probably have lots of interesting answers like golfing, fishing, hunting, boating, paint-balling, motorcycle riding, etc. Other than regular family stuff, I had bupkis. Maybe it’s because I travel quite a bit and when I’m home I really want to take advantage of hanging out with my family. I love hanging out with my wife and daughter because they are both so much fun to be around but I also feel like that’s not the only reason why I didn’t have a good answer for my friend.

Maybe it’s also laziness or lack of intention to get out get active. Admittedly, I spend entirely too much time watching t.v. or surfing the web or doing something else that’s probably a total waste of my time. When actually stopping to think about what it is I do in my free time, I know there is some hefty chunks of time in my life to work with. The disappointing taste in my mouth is that I’ve neglected to really venture outside my everyday pattern of not doing a whole lot. I’ve decided I need to break out and live with a more intentional effort of doing something more interesting with my free time.

One thing I’ve decided to try out to spice up my free time is hiking. Today I went out and hiked the San Tan Mountain Regional Park that’s only about 20 minutes from my house. I spent two hours hiking by myself and it was really an amazing experience. We’ve had a decent amount of rain lately and that has really created a beautiful desert landscape.

I was pretty surprised at how much I enjoyed my time hiking and I’m really looking forward to heading out again to check out some other trails. I really enjoyed the solitude and the quietness of it. It’s probably the first time in my life where I burned 1500 calories(according to my heart-rate monitor) and ended up feeling more refreshed and energetic than when I started. I’ve done a little research online on Arizona hiking and I’ve realized that there’s a staggering amount of trails just in the Phoenix area alone, not to mention the rest of the state. I need to get crackin’. If any of you are from AZ and are into hiking, I highly recommend Todd’s hiking website. It’s an incredible database for all things “hiking” in Arizona and Utah.

So I have to ask: What do YOU do with your free time?

Click here to check out some photos from my hike.