Slow and steady

There’s a lot that I’ve picked up from hiking the past year.

.You can’t see how far you come by just looking at the past few steps, even the past dozen of steps. It takes perspective, a much longer view.

.The path gets narrower the higher up you go, but even the less traveled road shows signs of use, there is still a path laid out by someone before you. You’re not alone, it has been done before.

.It’s surprising how quickly you can get up above the clouds and when you do you lose sight of all the world you used to be in.

.Even if you charge a trail with quick speed, you don’t always get there much faster than choosing to go at a more consistent comfortable pace.

.Similar to above, it doesn’t matter what the person in front of you, behind you are doing, it truly is about finding your own pace.

.At a certain point you will be sore the next day whether you stop at that point or continue on, the pain will be the same.

.Just because the vehicle gate at the entrance is locked, doesn’t mean you can’t around or under it and get started. Sometimes it feels like you’re doing something wrong because others choose to wait but often after a little while you come across people who did the same thing a lot earlier. Sometimes they pass you as they’re coming down the mountain and you’ve just started your hike. And you thought YOU were the rebel.

.Sometime you veer off the path, end up in a dead end, or knee deep in thorns. You just turn around and retrace. See where you might have misread things and course correct. There is no judgement, you aren’t being graded, no one is watching, it doesn’t mean anything, it has no weight. You just respond to finding yourself somewhere you don’t want to be, you course correct and move on.

.Having nice gear is awesome, it sometimes makes things a little easier and makes you feel good to have it. As I hike more, I don’t use most of it. Because most of my hikes aren’t multi-day excursions, they are just short day hikes. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we need to have for the activity, we expect that the THING will make our experience better. Maybe. Or maybe we need to actually focus on what we actually need for the task at hand.

.I hiked about 100 miles in the last 6-months. It started with a simple idea earlier in the year, I want to spend more time in nature. I didn’t initially think it would come in the form of hiking or have a passion for it. I just knew that I loved when my body was active and I was outdoors. I knew I had a nature park close to my house. And I decided one day I would see what was there. I didn’t do a lot of research or make a pro/con list or try to figure out if it was the optimal way to engage with nature. All I knew was I wanted to spend more time outdoors. And that first time was maybe 30 minutes, that’s a generous maybe. But now I’m planning more challenging hikes and trying to prepare for those. And it all is from the simple concept of being slow and steady. It’s pretty amazing where you often end up by just deciding to take that next step and the next.

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