Last night I wrote a post based on the three essential parts of the Stoic Philosophy:
Control your perceptions.
Direct your actions properly.
Willingly accept what’s outside your control.
When I did so, and I really don’t know why, I directed it at work because that was the first thing that I thought of. Now I want to spend some time to see how it relates to hiking. Sometimes I forget that this blog is primarily about hiking and I stray…just a little bit.
So how does this meditation pertain to hiking? Every time I plan a hike, especially one I haven’t done before (and those I have), I take out the map and do some planning. I will admit that every time I look at a map and see the contour lines close together my anxiety levels rise. Why? Because that means climbing hills. And the closer the lines are, the steeper the hill is.
My perception is that the hike will be difficult because of the hills and this then lends itself to thoughts about whether I want to do that hike or not.
As I continue my planning, I always think about whether or not I am prepared to do that hike. Obviously, some are more challenging than others and only you know what you are ready and capable of doing. So, in this case, you have to direct your actions properly. If you have been training then it shouldn’t be so bad.
Lastly, and most importantly, you have to willingly accept what is outside of your control. The hills, rough terrain and bad weather should mean nothing. Why? Because you have no control over them. They were there before you planned your hike, they will be there during your hike and they will most certainly be there after.
You just need to accept everything that goes with the hike and go for it. Imagine all of the people you won’t meet, the views that you won’t see and the pictures you won’t take because you let things that were out of your control dictate whether you hiked or not.