Josh and Shawn have been working on a major project for the past couple of months. Josh is working on his Eagle for scouts and one of the hardest merit badges he is required to do is either a series of long hikes, long bike rides or a bunch of hard core swimming. It's something that is meant to be done over a long period of time, not something you can do in a day.
Josh chose to do the hikes. He had to do five ten mile hikes and one 20 mile hike. When he first decided to do it I was a little worried about it. That's a ton of hiking, especially for a kid who isn't really a hiker! But Josh has made this amazing transformation this year with all the working out and running and going to the gym, and he was totally up for it.
So for the past couple of months, Shawn and Josh have been taking ten mile hikes on Saturday mornings. The first one they did took them several hours and they came home sore and exhausted. After seeing them the first week I had no idea how they were going to manage a twenty mile hike! But every week they've gotten faster and it's gotten easier for them and the last ten mile hike they did looked like practically nothing. They were done and home by 9:30am and they came in the house laughing like they had just walked down the street and back. Ten mile hikes are totally no big deal to them anymore.
So today was the big twenty mile hike. They've been planning this one for a while. They got up this morning at 5am and set out on their adventure. I tracked their progress periodically all morning with my iPhone and cheered them on from home. It took them just under six hours to complete it. They came home super sore and exhausted, but they did it and I'm so proud of them! Neither of them were hikers before this and now they love it. It's been a fun bonding time for them and they're talking about continuing the hikes even though the scout requirement is complete. In fact, they have a hike planned for our little mountain vacation next week.
It has been really fun to watch their progress over the past couple of months. It's been amazing to see the transformation that Josh has made this year. A year ago it would have taken a lot of convincing to get him to go on a hike of any size. Now he's the one planning future hikes and talking about where they can go next. That makes me really, really happy.
Here they are after their twenty mile hike today!