Can Your Job Make You Look 20 years younger?
As a visitor services specialist for Virginia State Parks I have the opportunity to visit the beautiful parks in my district to take photographs of different locations found in these parks such as trails, campgrounds and recreational areas.
On a particular day in July, I scheduled a day at 20 Years Younger. He writes that to look 20 years younger one of the tasks you need to do is spend at least 200 minutes a week doing cardio workouts. This includes the cardio workout that I favor the most; walking.
After hearing this I smiled with the thought of making that commitment one more time to start walking each day for 30 minutes. A thought came to me on combining work with reaching a goal of looking 20 years younger. This would be accomplished by taking 30 minutes at lunch to walk in the park and complete an assignment of taking updated photographs. This can’t be all that bad. So I decided to walk for 30 minutes on a trail while at Holliday Lake and work on reaching the goal of looking 20 years younger!
When I arrive at the park I asked the program support tech, Sarah Lankford, for a park map and quizzed her on how far the Northridge Trail Overlook is on Northridge Trail. Not far she said and added that the heat index on this particular day was going to be 105 degrees. Oh my! I didn’t realize it was going to be that hot!
After receiving instructions and was assured it was only .4 miles in and .4 miles out, I set out to start my workout to looking 20 years younger. I think I’ve failed to mentioned that I’m fifty-two years old and 20 years would make me 32 again. Do you believe in miracles? I do!
The Northridge Trail is a short hike on a picturesque trail the winds though the park. As I walked I kept an eye out for any living creatures I may stumble upon or for the perfect photo opp. At this point I realized any creature with any sense would not be out on a day with the heat index at 105. I was correct and there were plenty of photos opportunities.
As you walk down Northridge Trail the canopy from the trees enhances the view of the many ferns and running cedar that line the pathway. The trail is well maintained and has hills and curves to make the walk interesting.
As I approached a curve in the trail I could see the Northridge Trail Overlook from a distance. Yeah! I could see a picnic table and was thankful for a place to sit down for a while and enjoy the view of the lake. And what a view it was. At the overlook, which looks like a huge deck that is suspended over the lake, were three educational signs that interpreted interesting facts about the lake and its inhabitants.
After a short break I decided to head back. As I stepped off the overlook decking, I noticed that a section of the Lakeshore Trail met up with the Northridge Trail. I decided I needed a change of scenery and chose the Lakeshore Trail for the remaining .5 miles of my hike. The views of lake from this trail are breath taking. Along the path are several benches that are placed right on the shoreline where you can sit and enjoy the view.
As I made it back to my car, I noticed that Shelter 1 was empty and its picnic tables were beckoning me to come inside and take a rest. Despite the 100+ degree weather, I decided to setup shop at Shelter 1 instead of heading into the park office where air conditioning was surely to greet me.
So I setup my makeshift office and began to write this blog and ponder on the thought of what looking 20 years younger would mean. I came to conclusion that after spending the last 35 minutes walking the trails of Holliday Lake, my job is probably not going to make me 20 years younger. But I’m an optimist.
HOLLIDAY LAKE STATE PARK LOCATION: Access via State Route 24 between Appomattox and U.S. 60 and from Routes 626, 640 and 692. Approximately 12 miles from the Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park.
Drive Time : Northern Virginia, three and a half hours; Richmond, two hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, four hours; Roanoke, two hours.
Click here to view the trail maps and more at Holliday Lake State Park.