If you happen to follow me on any form of social media or have ever asked me the infamous question of, “What am I doing this summer?” You probably know that my love for hiking is real. So real that I came BACK home for the summer because I missed it so much.
Some people get the obsession while some people could not be more confused why I would voluntarily wake up at 5 am just to be on the trail by 6 am and then spend 6+ hours in the forest climbing up mountains… sweaty, tired, legs shaking, calfs throbbing…
Well…I hike for a lot of reasons. I hike because the views canNOT be found by car, the workout is great and there is no better way to bond with someone or yourself than spending hours on the trail with no distractions. HOWEVER, this summer I find myself hiking for the purpose of growth and building patience. If hiking has taught me anything relevant to my life, it’s patience. After moving from the east coast to the west coast for the summer, I learned quite quickly that I didn’t have that “west coast patience” for the little things in life that I once had. So, in order to grow and in order to better myself I turned to hiking. Because there is no better way to build patience than 10 hours in the forest. Trust me.
HOWEVER, this summer I find myself hiking for the purpose of growth and building patience. If hiking has taught me anything relevant to my life, it’s patience. After moving from the east coast to the west coast for the summer, I learned quite quickly that I didn’t have that “west coast patience” for the little things in life that I once had. So, in order to grow and in order to better myself I turned to hiking. Because there is no better way to build patience than 10 hours in the forest. Trust me.
The beginning of any hike, on the way to the summit, is exciting. Your legs might be shaking from a steep incline but the thought of the summit view, your ready to eat salmon jerky and the ice cold beer you have stashed in your pack are enough motivation to keep you going, to keep you climbing.
However, the patience building, the life lessons and the mentally hard stuff usually comes on the way down after you’ve seen the views, after the snacks are eaten, after the “”hard part” of going up is accomplished. Hiking is like one giant life metaphor where to be successful you have to keep going. Keep going through the unknown trail conditions, the annoying (always occurring) feeling of not knowing what mile you are at, after the reward is over and especially when it gets hard, you must keep walking. You can’t hike 6 miles into the forest and not hike 6 miles back. There’s something about that which pushes you to surpass any preconceived limits you had made up in your mind of what your body can accomplish because that is literally the only option. There is no other option than to preserve and not stop.
It’s those moments on mile 9 of a 12 mile hike where self doubt, pure exhaustion and deliriousness over take any strength that you thought you had, in that moment you find yourself growing and your patience for life building because if you can overcome that moment and make it to the car with a smile on your face, then waiting for the little things in life will be that much easier and much more appreciated.
When you last 9 hours in the forest, gaining more elevation than you ever thought possible, your mind suddenly becomes open to all the other amazingly difficult things you can accomplish.
So, this summer I am hiking to grow, to build patience and learn about myself as I begin to ponder what life has in store for me after graduation next year. I am hoping to turn this (almost never used) blog into a mini hiking blog this summer because that is my passion, that is what is fuels my soul currently.
And because one social media platform is never enough, if you want to follow my journey of hiking, adventuring and exploring the PNW this summer through pictures rather lengthy rants that I disguise as blog posts then follow my brand new fancy Instagram @simplyboutside.
And if you need some trail inspiration then check out my page on The Outbound where I am (hoping) to write up (almost) every hike I do with some tips, advice and some cool scenic pictures.
AND OF COURSE, if you ever need someone to go hiking with, I am your gal!