Lessons Learned – It’s OK to Stray at Times

Over the years, I've come to realize there are many lessons to be learned while enjoying the great outdoors that can apply to the overall road towards a positively healthy life, and I've found a way to share that with others through discussions over some of the many photos I've taken on my own adventures. These posts are not meant to provide all the answers, but rather prompt a discussion. Please feel free to join in...


While there are times it’s important to make sure you stick to the planned path towards your goals, sometimes you need to give yourself permission to stray a little. If you expend all your energy in keeping focused on where your feet are on the path, you may miss so many wonderful things along the way.

Meeting major goals, such as a weight milestone, or getting off those blood pressure meds, or running your first 5k are like hiking to that great waterfall, or finding the perfect view of Mt Rainier, or backpacking in 10 miles to that alpine lake.

When you’re hiking, if you only concern yourself, literally, with where your feet are going, and how far you have left to that waterfall, or peak, or alpine lake, and do not take some time to look around a bit along the way, you may miss any number of little things along the trail. From little crops of mushrooms growing on a fallen stick…

… to the way a drop of water is about to fall from a ripening salmon berry.

The path towards a healthier you can be a rough one. Filled with rocky, narrow trails that can seem very daunting at times. And sure, maybe it makes reaching those major milestones feel so much the better, but there are also so many little things that will happen along the way that you don’t want to miss.

From having to add a new notch on a belt, or being able to fit into a pair of jeans you “grew out of” years ago, to maybe just making it up a flight of stairs without having to stop and catch your breath.

Take a moment, enjoy these things. Savor them for the little bits of joy they can bring. Don’t be so focused on the end that you fail to realize that every step of your journey is an opportunity to discover something new about yourself and the world around you.

The point of these topics is not for just me to just share them and move on, but rather to foster some discussion on these ideas and how they apply in "your" life. We're not sitting around the same table, but we can still have a discussion. Just leave your own thoughts in the comments below, or send them to me privately if you prefer. Find the other topics using the lessons learned tag.

What are some of the “little things” you are either looking forward to, or remember from your own journey?

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