ThoughtBox

Working out with Nature

Guest Writer:  Darci Santella

map vc overview

Now that the weather has finally transitioned from spring to summer, there are so many places you could go to work out. It can be a local park, trails, pools, outdoor facilities, and many more. One of my favorite things to do is to ride the Creeper Trail in southwest Virginia. The Creeper Trail is a 34-mile trail, for biking, walking, or running. It starts at the top of Mount Rogers at Whitetop Station and goes to Abingdon, VA (or vice versa). I am here in southwest Virginia this week excited to ride the trail.

creeper trail bridge

As a person who is not so physically fit, I will do half the trail, 17 miles. I will start at the top at Whitetop Station and make my way into Damascus, VA. I like this route because it is mostly downhill which makes it easier for me to ride. I like to stop wherever I want and take pictures of the river, the bridges, the waterfalls, and all of the nature that surrounds me. Some may say that if I stop it takes away from my workout. Well, to those I say, my muscles don’t agree. I am very sore after my trip down the mountain,  muscles I didn’t think I was using will hurt. Granted, this is because I don’t do this often but still it is a workout for me.

A workout is what you make of it. It can be long or short, intense or casual, muscle-specific or general. When I am out in nature, I like to take it all in. I take breaks when I want and I don’t worry about how it is affecting my overall workout. I am out there for the fun of it, the relaxation it brings me, and all the beauty that surrounds me. When I am out in nature like this, I don’t think of it as a workout, I am just using my bike as a means to get from point A to point B. Any physical benefits from the ride are a bonus because I take this ride for my mental and emotional well-being.

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