Today, we live in what I like to call the fit-bit generation as more people than ever are interested in their day-to-day activities. I myself have fallen victim to the trend as well, often checking my steps, calories burned and heart rate. I set my daily goal for 10,000 steps, when I achieve this my tracker buzzes and I must admit as sad as it seems, it is extremely satisfying. This goal has only recently been achieved when I am buzzing around the busy café that I work in, but I am determined to change that and to ensure that more and more of my steps are taken into my beautiful natural surroundings instead.
With the need to get out and clear my mind, I arrived at Kilbroney forest park and started to ascend Slieve Martin. A place full of fond childhood memories, it makes a dull day seem much brighter. Today was gloomy and windy with a strong threat of rain which didn’t phase the numerous walkers and bikers that joined me amongst the trails the mountain has to offer.
For me, this forest brings pure serenity as I focus all my senses on her.
It is as if with each step all worries and woes began to disappear as all I could see and hear was the forest around me. Instead of worrying about money, my career and other people, I found myself looking up to the sky to watch the trees sway in the wind and let my mind go free. The wind rushed amongst the trees which towered above me like nature’s own skyscrapers. My footsteps were marked out in the mud and were surrounded by the beautiful spring flowers on the forest floor.
For the first time in a long time, I really felt awake but then maybe that was just the wind whipping my face. I haven’t been as active as I would have hoped lately but I didn’t expect to be so unfit. On the steepest part of the trail, my legs were crying out for a rest but my curiosity wouldn’t let me, so I pushed on and it was all worth it. There really is no better feeling than reaching a clearing in the forest so you can finally see how high you are and of course spot the beautiful Carlingford Lough below.
When I finally reached the infamous Cloughmore Stone, it was glorious, even though I have been there numerous times, its just as special each time. This spot boasts beautiful views of the Lough, Warrenpoint, Rostrevor, Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula, but today I didn’t have much time to stay to appreciate this. It was when I reached this spot that I noticed the mist coming down the mountain towards me so I quickly made my way back down via the Cloughmore Trail.
On this day, it wasn’t the number of steps that I took that was important, it was where those steps took me.