Have you ever gone for a walk, a hike, or have you ever done physical activities with someone who just seems like they are not enjoying it, perhaps complaining about the exertion or the impact on their body? Maybe it was you!
I’m training to hike a section of the Appalachian trail and as such I am trying to hike as much as I can while carrying a backpack of varying weight. I planned to hike 12 miles on this one day with a pack weight of about 25 pounds. The terrain of the hike wasn’t bad, there are some hills, some elevation, I have done this 6 mile hike often in the past year but this time I was hiking the 6 miles of trails twice.
The first part of “Mind” I had to get over was the lack of participation. I invited a bunch of people, about twelve people said they would go on the hike and then no one showed up. (Actually 3 people did but we missed each other). Part of me felt that I went through the trouble to create the event and I felt slightly put off by the no shows. On the other hand, I was doing this anyway, I was doing it for me and I was going to do it with or without people. I spent about 15 minutes analyzing it before I just said “Dave, Let it go, enjoy the hike”. Those feelings floated away. I enjoyed the birds, the nature and the hike. My path crossed ways with people who I chatted with along the way. My backpack made for a great conversational piece because a few people asked if I was training for a hike and I obliged them with the story of the planned hike.
Body and Mind collided again around mile six. My legs were getting tired and a bit sore. I know I was carrying twenty five extra pounds but body and mind argued back and forth between “We have done these same six miles plenty of times before” and “I’m carrying 25 extra pounds” 🙂 Seriously though, I started feeling tired and somewhat negative because of the toll it was taking on my body. The mind is young, the body… is getting older and suffering from age related aches and pains. The one thing I realized, even though the muscles and tendons were getting tired, there was no reason for my attitude to be anything other than happy, happy to be out enjoying nature.
Using the Four Noble Truths, the next six miles were a careful balance. Anytime I felt suffering from my body, I reminded myself that while the body ached, the mind doesn’t have to be negative; I smiled and looked at nature around me. I may have made a few more stops along the way to take off my pack, to sit, to watch the streams of water, to watch and listened to the birds and frogs. It was wonderful.
I posted this to my facebook page the day before the hike: Finding yourself:
When you follow along with everyone else, you become like everyone else. Be your own leader and take yourself on a journey of self discovery. Yeah, sometimes it is a lonely road but it’s great to find similarly minded people along the way.
My quote seemed fitting for the end of my hike. Even though I was trying to be positive, the more I hiked the tougher it was to keep the momentum of spirit. About a mile until the end of the hike, I was startled by the crash of a tree falling. I looked behind me to see another solo hiker and we made mention of the falling tree. We struck up a conversation and found we had similar paths, I found a similarly minded person just as I mentioned on my facebook posting.
It’s hard to have a positive mind when you feel it should be negative that your body aches but it doesn’t have to be that way. Your mind can stay forever young but there is no stopping the aging process on your body.
Accept the limitations but don’t be afraid to get out there! Take it slow, take breaks, breath in the air.