Tuesday, December 20, 2016

6. She Hikes

Hiking is a physical activity that is enjoyed by most proper mountain women, it is also symbolic for one of the most important things a proper mountain woman does in her life, she progresses. Progression is moving forward and upward, and that moving forward and upward in life (and up a mountain) takes work. And work is a very beautiful thing to a proper mountain woman... it is what our blessings, benefits, and happiness are fueled by.

I recall big hikes I went on years and years ago, when I was 12 to 16 years old, and can still vividly and easily remember how difficult they were for me... I remember the struggle to breath, the frequent stops to rest my legs, the hot sun making me sweat, my backpack chaffing my underarms, the other girls passing me and leaving me in the dust, and the trail going on and on, forever and ever! It was brutal. So brutal. Nothing else in my blessed and sheltered youth comes close to the torture, pain, and fatigue I experienced on my annual hike each summer during girls camp.

Now, as a grown woman, making adult decisions and mistakes, un-shielded to life's realities and pain... when I struggle with new goals or progression, it makes sense for my brain to remember back to that raw pain I experienced while hiking in my youth, and see the parallels. To me it is a beautiful analogy.

Even though hiking was brutal as a kid, I did feel an immense amount of joy when I reached the end of the hike. The mountain views at the end of a hike are worth every step (most of the time), and the satisfaction of pushing your body and mind to the end makes you feel so proud and happy with yourself, it is one of the best feelings in the entire world.

I believe everything good in life comes from this forward and upward movement. We need work, goal setting, and progression. We need it! If a proper mountain woman's body, mind, and soul isn't "hiking" and in forward momentum she becomes unhappy, insecure, and boring.

Hiking in life means moving, exploring, progressing, serving, creating, making, and doing.

Sometimes we have a clear goal we want to accomplish and we work to summit that specific peak. Some hikes are rough and steep, some are friendly and enjoyable. Sometimes you see a friend reach the top of the same peak you are on without much of a struggle, while you must sweat, work, and take the long way.

Sometimes we don't know what peak to summit next, so we search for inspiration as we walk slowly and rejoice in the beauties that surround us.

Sometimes we have to take a detour in our life and work to get back to the trail we would rather be on. It's okay to be on that detour, that is what makes life so interesting. A proper mountain woman is an interesting person, and you don't become that way by taking the easy way or always knowing what you are going to do in life. So take comfort in the knowledge that experiences, whether they be good, bad, or frustrating make you a better person. You hike through them, and move on.

Can you imagine if your life went as perfectly as you imagined when you were younger? You would never become dynamic, interesting, and strong. Be grateful for all the different hiking trails you come across. Move constantly forward and work. When you find yourself in a trench and have lost the trail you were on, look around, maybe you can see the peak you were trying to reach from a different point of view. Maybe a trail you never realized existed leads you out... and it's more gorgeous than any other trail you could imagine on your own!

I become passionate about this subject when someone is unhappy with their life and waiting for something or someone to happen to them. That is not forward motion, and it makes the and person depressed, insecure, and boring to talk to. If something in life isn't going the way you envisioned... pick something, anything, even though it doesn't seem perfect at first and do it. The forward momentum, this little hike you go on will inspire you!

+ + + + + + + + + +

And to end this post, here are some of my favorite quotes about actual hiking and spending time in the mountains, enjoy!

"Great things are done when men and mountains meet; This is not done by jostling in the street." - William Blake

"Nature is not a place to visit. It is home." - Gary Snyder

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity” - John Muir

“Feeling LOW?
Go on mountains.” - Prajakta Mhadnak

“On a hike, you're less a job title and more a human being....A periodic hike not only stretches the limbs but also reminds us: Wow, there's a big old world out there.” - Ken Ilgunas

“Nature is one of the most underutilized treasures in life. It has the power to unburden hearts and reconnect to that inner place of peace.” - Janice Anderson

“Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Then, when you’re no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn’t just a means to an end but a unique event in itself. This leaf has jagged edges. This rock looks loose. From this place the snow is less visible, even though closer. These are things you should notice anyway. To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top. Here’s where things grow.
But of course, without the top you can’t have any sides. It’s the top that defines the sides. So on we go—we have a long way—no hurry—just one step after the next—with a little Chautauqua for entertainment -- .Mental reflection is so much more interesting than TV it’s a shame more people don’t switch over to it. They probably think what they hear is unimportant but it never is.” - Robert M. Pirsig

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. … There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” - Rachel Carson

"Adopt the pace of Nature. Her secret is patience." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

“But especially he loved to run in the dim twilight of the summer midnights, listening to the subdued and sleepy murmurs of the forest, reading signs and sounds as a man may read a book, and seeking for the mysterious something that called—called, waking or sleeping, at all times, for him to come.” - Jack London

“Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” - John Muir

SHE HIKES is a follow up post to She Loves the Mountains, and part of an ongoing series of defining a proper mountain woman.

No comments:

Post a Comment

+ + + + + +