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This is a piece about someone trying to figure out how to piece it all together.
There are a million stories that can be told by a million different people. We have all wondered before, I wish I took this chance. I wish I had learned about this sooner. I wish I had started this earlier. I wish I had asked for help. I wish I had kept pushing to get what I believe I deserved. I wish I didn’t say this and I wish I stated that. I mean I could go on for days with examples. We’ve all been there. In a sense we’ve all probably written a “trying to figure out my life” piece. Except I’m writing mine, not in a journal but out in the wild open for all to read.
There are these moments you see people doing things similar to what you are trying to do, but somehow they are excelling much further and faster than you are. Then you have a million questions. Maybe even a million doubts. You hit a lull. You get a bit complacent. Then you have to snap back to reality and get back to work because if they are excelling quicker than you, you have some catching up to do.
I could write out a long list of the hundreds of ideas I’ve come up with based on of my long distance hiking. Trust me, there are a lot. I can list the many that have not panned out, the ones that aren’t so much unrealistic but just unrealistic now. Most importantly I could tell you of the the ones that seemed amazing in the big picture of things' but honestly weren’t and aren’t ones that truly motivate me now or ever. You have to love and embrace it, man. You really do.
You build up a lot of dreams in your head and say, “fuck it, lets run with this!” But then you start learning quickly that there are a lot more to things than just a good dream. There's the work. There's the patience. There are the many different things you’re being told you need to do to make your dreams come true. Your head spins faster than you can keep up with. And then there’s the self doubt….
That self doubt is a damn battle. There's a lot more “We’re not interested” than there are, “Lets get started”. If you can’t accept no as an answer, then you really do start questioning why you’re even asking the questions in the first place. There's a whole lot of “Rome wasn’t built in a day” self reminding. And, hey' it wasn’t, but if you’re building anything that you’re trying to get people to buy into and believe in, you better have the build Rome mindset. Even a long distance hiker has to remind himself to not drag his feet once in awhile.
To state the obvious, I love to hike. I’m good at it. I'm pretty good at telling the story as I walk these said hikes. I'm decent enough at aiming my camera towards a sweet sunset and occasionally I have an inspiring thing to say while filming a short video on the trail. When one asks me what I think I excel at, I always say, “walking and talking”. These are all pretty valuable tools for sure, but it’s putting all these tools and much more together. It’s trying to take your vision and learn how to bring them to the next level…. And boy is it a lot of work. Unless you are getting paid (I'm not), generating a ton of buzz (not there yet), getting companies behind you (I’m ready when you are) and finally seeing it all come together (ain’t stopping til it does) it's hard to think of it as a real career. My friend Mike said it best just today, “Sometimes you have to jump and grow your wings on the way down.” Well, someone else may have said that long before he did, but he felt the need to repeat it to me.
So many of us don’t know where to start. What does “next level" even resemble? Building websites, writing proposals, creating marketing strategies, having the perfect elevator pitch and so much more. So…. Much….. More. You have to keep asking for help in all directions and you have to take chances that some who are vital to the process don’t agree with. Persistence is a tough battle but a necessary battle to say the least. You have to take the lumps that come with it because they come like a 12 round battle at the center of the ring. And just understand you’re gonna get knocked down. But does getting knocked down really matter as long as you get back up?
Get back up and don’t stop working at it. It's not all gonna come together all at once but little by little you’ll see the progress. Hiking has its days where you feel like you can barely hike another 100 feet. Your body feels completely depleted and you start asking yourself, “What if this is how I feel for the rest of this journey?” You bed down for the night and the next morning you eat, pack up and start moving. Before you know it you feel yourself and your motivation sky rockets. If there aren’t a few road blocks along the way what’s the point of taking on the challenge?
For so long in my life road blacks would equal giving up. So many ideas and things I thought I could accomplish where gone before I even started the effort. I wanted it handed to me. I didn’t want to work for it. I didn’t understand anything along the lines of hard work and true commitment to a life goal. That's whats so different now. I know that the knock downs are going to come and when they do I’ll keep getting up. For the first time in my life I believe in something that I think can mean something to so many. Something that if I keep working at it and getting others behind it it has a real chance.
“Hike the good hike” uses hiking as its main tool but it's so much more than that. It’s something that I believe can get people to pay attention to themselves and how they live their lives. How they can be more active. How they can be inspired and in turn use that to inspire others. It’s something that can teach you to keep getting up as you fall.
I’ve used “Hike the Good Hike” in such a positive way and I've taken my fair share of falls along the way, but here I am still standing, moving, feeling inspired and continuing to hike. This journey has given me so much over the last four years. I feel like it's only right to constantly work hard to return the favor. So that's what I’m doing.
Hike the Good Hike