The Lessons of the Hike

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I had a realization in Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) that should have happened a long time ago.

Hiking is the moment we face the things causing trouble in our life, not the time to push it away.

It was our last day of a 10-day trip. Noah, Matthew, Andrew and I had been exploring Badlands to Yellowstone to GTNP; It was everything I needed it to be.

One thing that happened a lot of the trip was me trying to block out any problem from everyday life. Most things creeping in were unfounded fears, but my attempts to ignore them were futile.

When Perspective Changes:

We were in Cascade Canyon. My favorite place in the entire world (I mean that). I kept thinking of bullshit. The cyst in my spine, what could be happening at work, etc. Frustration was kicking in because it felt like the moment in this fantastic place was being wasted, kept pushing on, hoping the issues would stay at the trail.

That hope faded quickly. The four miles up to the fork was filled with flashes of anxiety and then back to gratitude for where I was at at the moment… An annoying mental rollercoaster.

I kept working this out as I got closer to Lake Solitude. Once I was there and settled, the thought hit me like a ton of bricks:

Anxiety is challenging, and that is why I come to places like this, to push myself, to become better. Climbing a mountain provides an opportunity to face your demons.

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Going Forward:

There is no point in trying to force me into the perfect social media moment. That takes away from what wilderness can do for me. The pains in life will come one way or another. Fight for the clarity in the places you are meant to be.

Thank you for reading and happy travels!

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