Too many of us, old and young, are loathe to get out of our comfort zones. It’s nice feeling cozy in your routine, always knowing what the day will bring. Thing is you can’t grow by sitting still, anymore than a muscle gains strength without use. Any challenge, no matter how small, builds us and makes us bolder.
Which explains the hike I took yesterday with my 24 year-old up Tumamoc Hill. It was billed as, ‘an easy, hike,’ until you read the fine print: It was a 750-foot ascent to the top and a three-mile round-trip! Now, I haven’t hiked in. . . Well I can’t actually remember when, but I did learn a thing or two along the way:
- Don’t over-analyze the route before you start or you may never take it.
- Swing your arms when you walk whether or not it makes you look foolish. It helps.
- The real climb is in your head. Your legs are just there for support.
- Don’t worry if someone passes you. Don’t even notice or you’ll alter your own momentum. Besides, you may pass them later on.
- Don’t be afraid to pause and admire the view. It will help you catch your breath if nothing else.
- Encourage your fellow travellers. You are in this together.
- Don’t be shy asking for help. Most people love to offer it and it makes them feel important. (My daughter’s left shoulder was a great support to me most of the way back down as I have no knees.)
- When you’ve gone as far as you can, turn around and look how far you’ve come. It will encourage you to go further.
- Be present in each step and reaching the end won’t feel so overwhelming.
- And finally:
The view from the top is exactly the same as it was from the bottom, only now you can see it!!!