Thursday, June 26, 2014

"Hiker, there is no trail": FADA at the core of Hiking Megalopolis

by Brian Schwarz, your Hiking Megalopolis guide

The hike is where you make it, but it starts at your own front door
Hiking Megalopolis is all about EVERYONE enjoying the outdoors. At its core, Hiking Megalopolis believes in involving pre-novice, novice, intermediate and advanced hikers around these four concepts: Fitness, Action, Direction, and Adventure (FADA).

Fitness

Access to the outdoors can be gained at some entry point by nearly everyone. But hiking takes you on an adventure whereby, as you increase your level of fitness through participation, you increase your access to all of the most special places in nature, you know, off the beaten path. It's a progressive model of fitness that begins with you walking out of your own front door and finding the nearest trail. Fitness is not about arriving at some place and being like, yeah, I'm fit. Fitness is a lifelong journey, and Hiking Megalopolis - with its pan-generational approach - supports the fitness journey for individuals as well as their associated communities.

Action

Getting involved in the hiking community means getting involved in both preserving existing trails and working with local, state and federal authorities to open new trails as they are seen to benefit affiliated communities. Action involves supporting these agencies with trail clean-up and maintenance, hiker education with relation to Leave No Trace Ethics, fostering trail etiquette and engaging in trail awareness campaigns.

Direction

Trails are more fun when you realize where you are with regard to the historical and geographical elements of the space you occupy. Knowing how to use a map and compass, or even GPS, not only enhances your experience outdoors, but it helps give new perspective on navigating the roads of relationships, careers and other trappings of "the real world". Being in nature alone is like no other experience. Wilderness navigation is a big part of Hiking Megalopolis. Finding your way through nature, and then finding your way safely home, is what Direction is all about.

Adventure

Underneath it all, like the tangled root system of a tree that's hundreds of years old, Hiking Megalopolis is about Adventure. Reaching to new depths of ourselves through adventure supports our growth as people and as members of the global community. No person can tell you what adventure would actually look like to them until they have experienced it. But those who engage in hiking often experience adventure they didn't even see coming.

In conclusion, I leave you with this sentiment, inspired by Spanish singer Juan Manuel Serrat. He said, "Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar." For the purposes of bringing home the raw truth behind Hiking Megalopolis, I will say this: Hiker, there is no trail; the trail is laid out before the one brave enough to take the first step.

For a better understanding of how Hiking Megalopolis and the FADA core was conceived, you'll find a pictoral and textual representation of my journey throughout the web and on various social media platforms. On Instagram, I'm FitLifeChronicles. For more on Fitness, check out MyFitLife2Day on Twitter, and the MyFitLife2Day blog. For Action and Direction, read the Man of Merit blog. And for Adventure, strap on a sturdy pair of shoes, pack water and snacks into a pack, and head out into the woods for a day of HikeyHikey!