Doubts Before Hiking
So you are sold on the idea of hiking, great. There is still this nagging feeling, though? Something in your way, an obstacle, you are uncertain about how to start, when to start and always find a reason not to start?
This is common, we’ve all been there at some point in life, in a number of ways. I am there myself right now, I want to play rugby, I have never played for a properly established team before but have played in the past and I love it, so what’s stopping me? I know the benefits for me, that I will enjoy, what is stopping me? Well, a whole number of things; cost, fear of the unknown and a terrible habit of procrastinating to name a few. I keep saying ‘next week I’m busy now”, keep putting it off for other things. Well, I am changing my attitude, I have decided to start this week, one of the two training sessions, I am going, I have to.
In fact, I am going tonight… I think.
There you go, therein lies the problem, it’s the action, perhaps apathy, perhaps anticipation. It is the unknown and most people do not like the unknown and avoid it consciously or unconsciously. This is where I am going to try and help, with my own personal challenge of starting rugby training.
First of all, I will talk about the rewards of stepping into the unknown. Everything becomes that little bit easier when you know the benefits, and it helps if you can outweigh all the random negatives your mind comes up with to not going.
There is this feeling you have to overcome; you have to break out of your routine once in a while to achieve more, to feel more, to live more. ‘Try something new today’ may be a slogan for supermarkets to play around with but it is hugely important for happiness. Even the little things, enjoy the little things, change them, try a new drink at a bar, a new meal… don’t make the mistake of falling into a routine.
‘I like my routine, though, I have my favourite coffee and stick to it?’This question may pop up a lot, and it is valid. What I say to that is great, I am happy you are pleased with your routine, but do you find yourself bored, or unsatisfied at times? I know I do, I all too often fall into my comfort zones, order the same things, perhaps as a fear of missing out, losing money or making a mistake, I all too often fail to try a new way as I know what works for me.
What if I am missing out on a much better alternative? What if there is a better way, a happier way? Am I missing out on it by sticking to my mediocracy, my content choices? Yes.
What if your choice to try something new failed, a mistake? GREAT. I know this sounds crazy, but I am sure most of you have heard before, mistakes are something you learn from. A mistake is often more worthwhile than a success;the memories, the lessons, the knowledge and wisdom gained is priceless, well certainly compared to a £3 pound coffee you didn’t like.
In short, the biggest benefit is you can’t lose, but you can gain immensely. By taking up hiking, you can gain so much, a hobby, confidence, social skills, community, deep inner thoughts. You can get whatever you want from hiking, and the opportunity to grow is indefinite. There is always something new to try, always a new way to push yourselves, to leave your comfort zone, to feel pleases, satisfied and proud of yourself.
Remember the feeling when you applied for your first job or took your driving test, or asked a girl or guy out? It does stuff to you, probably some chemical stuff, I don’t know, but you feel alive. If you were unsuccessful, no worries, plenty more jobs out there, the driving test can be hard, and ‘plenty of fish in the sea’( I apologise for the use of this quote, but it fits well), but that fact you tried, the fact you did something a lot of people find hard to do, that you didn’t just stay in your shell is amazing for self-help. You pick yourself up, dust yourself down, get back on your bike, whatever, any one of those cliches are apt, where do you think Matt Damon would be if he didn’t persist with Good Will Hunting, if after all the failures he had, he gave up?
There is honestly no loss to trying something new. I encourage you to try hiking, it is great, trust me. Start this weekend, just go for an extended walk near a beach, farmlands or a network of city parks. Just enjoy the outdoors, the birds or the chance to think. It doesn’t have to be a long walk, but the next time, try a longer one, move further a field, travel to the hills, the famous locations. Start slowly and enjoy it, DON’T go buying loads of equipment before you start, don’t push yourself too hard on your first hike.
You have to enjoy it. Otherwise, there is little point. Once you become slightly experienced, up the difficulty, challenge yourself in new ways, push yourself.
As the old saying goes; ‘it is better to have loved and lost than never loved at all?