Lessons Learned from the Great Outdoors – Pt 3

For YWM2018 I did a Lunch with the Experts discussion with some attendees titled Post-Op Wisdom: Lessons Learned From the Great Outdoors. Through some of my favorite photos and discussion, we explored how some of the lessons I’ve learned about enjoying the great outdoors also apply to living a positively healthy life. So far we’ve talked about planning, and being prepared for things to not go as planned. Now here in Part 3 we’ll address the idea that everyone should…

Choose Your Own Path

I do a lot of hikes with different groups from as few as four or five to as many as 20+. But it doesn’t matter how many we have, way more often than not, we’re not all at the same level. We each have our own pace. And even when we’re all following what seems to be the same trail, some of us may make stops at different points to catch our breath more often than others, or sometimes it’s just about stopping to take a moment to soak in nature, or take a photo of a wonderful view.

Now on the trail, in the summer, you really do need to stay on the same trail. You don’t want to damage plants and such, but in the winter, when snowshoeing, you definitely have more options. This photo is from a trip to Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park. We had trekked our way up a fairly decent slope to one of the first ridges. On the way up, most of us took the same route, following in each other’s footsteps. But on the way down… the group naturally split up a bit as each person took the route they felt most comfortable with. (Going down slopes in snowshoes presents it’s own unique set of challenges.

When it comes to weight loss, if you visit any online forums, you find people looking for others of similar age, starting weight, etc. They are hoping to compare notes, to try and see if they’re losing enough weight, losing it fast enough, things like that. The thing is, it doesn’t matter how similar you are, your path is your own. Comparing yourself to others inevitably leads to disappointment and feelings of failure.

By focusing on your path, you will be less distressed when you don’t measure up. You will be better prepared not just to tackle your obstacles, but also better able to enjoy the wonderful things that will happen on the way.

Like this view. For pretty much this entire trek, the clouds dominated the skies to the point of barely seeing any peeks of the surrounding peaks. But a couple of us sort of lagged behind the others on the way back to the trailhead, and even though the majority of our group was already back, by taking our own path, at our own pace, we were rewarded with this spectacular view as the clouds broke open for a short period of time.

It’s fine to seek out others on a similar journey, the same way I seek out others with similar interests to hike and snowshoe with. But we don’t compare ourselves to each other, we don’t worry who is “getting there” first, or get upset when someone is able to hike up that hill faster than ourselves. Instead, we are there to support each other along the way, and hopefully… enjoy views like this, together.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on how to apply this to our own path… leave comments below or contact me directly.

1 Response

  1. August 6, 2018

    […] Choose your own path […]

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