Change is Good | Life Lessons from the Perspective of a Long Hike

Change is Good | Life Lessons from the Perspective of a Long Hike

Have you ever gone on a long hike? Maybe climbed a pass or peak or backpacked several days even? Remember the moment you looked back at the distance you’d made? It’s astounding isn’t it?

Remember this next time you look at your own life. For its very symbolic of life’s adventure. There was a time when I needed to make a big change in my life. Yet, every day I’d wake up and feel like I didn’t know how to get to that future point I was looking towards. Such a huge endeavor it was! So far away! How would I ever do this!? Maybe it would never happen.

The problem is – I wasn’t hiking. I hadn’t packed my backpack. I didn’t grab a map. I didn’t take the first few steps. I wasn’t going anywhere. It would be like if I’d looked at the map of my hiking route & tossed it over my shoulders on day one proclaiming, “There’s no way I could ever walk that far!”

Yet, here I was today. Looking over the vast view, at a distant windy trail below. I did go hike. All 60 miles of it in those 3 days. And as I stood atop the pass looking down, I came to realize how far I’d hiked in life too. All the years it took in my life. Wow! It seemed far, and to some extent, it was. But every little step got me closer. How it seemed so distant in the past now. All because of one step in a different direction.

The real take away is that, just like a literal long hike, after a few first steps or miles even, you just keep rolling. Sure, every once and a while you stop & look at the map & think, “Oh boy, many miles still left to go.” But it’s in the walking moments that you forget the challenge, the past & bask in the changing scenery.

If I’d have instead stayed back in that known territory, I wouldn’t have transcended through the initial rough uphill climb, into a dark forest, out into an open meadow. I wouldn’t have seen the wildflowers, the distant snow capped mountain. I wouldn’t have subsequently decided that I also wanted to climb that mountain. Heck, before I came up I didn’t even know that mountain existed! I couldn’t see it down there.

Of course, maybe by now, you realize I’m not just talking about the literal hike I did. Albeit the similarities are amazing. That’s how life is. You don’t know what you don’t know. You make a goal and you take a first step. Then, you might find that you change your route along the way. Because your scenery changes as you go. And it changes you. The change is usually really scary, especially before you’ve ascended. But more often than not, it’s a change for the better. And it takes a really big first step to get it all rolling.

“Life’s the journey. Not the destination.”

Next thing you know, your at the top of the pass, looking down at all of those landscapes you just passed through. Thinking wow! I’ve come a long way. Remembering the very first step, but only faintly now.

Change is good.

“Beginnings are scary. Endings are sad. But it’s the middle that counts.” Try to remember that next time your at the beginning of a seemingly impossible trail – on the mountain or in life.

“Beginnings are scary. Endings are sad. But it’s the middle that counts.” Try to remember that next time your at the beginning of a seemingly impossible trail – on the mountain or in life. We get this one life – make the trail incredible. Every tiring uphill climb leads to an easier downhill descent & sometimes a mountain meadow. Happy trails, friends!