The Hike

Mount Monadnoc

Mt. Monadnock seen from Pack Monadnock

I used to hike Mount Monadnock all of the time (Google it).  After the first couple of times up I changed my route so that I would take long arcing hikes that would totally skip the summit.  I would get close and there were always places to take in the view, but I saw no reason to go to the top.

On more than one occasion I had people ask me why I didn’t go all of the way to the top.  If you don’t go to the summit, what’s the point?  Where is the destination?  I had people tell me they hated hiking without an objective.

To me hiking was the point, spending time outside communing with nature was the objective.  It was the journey, not the destination that was important.

I recently saw a Youtube video that said life is not a journey; that we must enjoy the moment.  The idea of life is to sing and dance, not to get to some objective.

I agree and disagree.  It is a journey, a journey from womb to tomb.  But, like the video, I say there is no reason to worry about the objective, we need to enjoy the trip.  Make each step of that hike count.  The journey is the point.

In real life we do need to think about goals, we do need to try to do something.  If we all just let it slide and not worry about it, who would do the work?  Who would farm the fields, ship the food, put the goods on the grocery store shelves?  Who would make the electricity?  But these goals should be secondary, they should not be the only point to our journey.  We need to learn to live the moment and not spend all of our time focused on the future.  We need to actually do those jobs right now and live them as we think of our goals.

Anyway, just a bit of nickel philosophy.  Nothing mind blowing or Earth shattering.  Just a simple bit of truth we sometimes miss – Our real journey is from birth to death, those plans and goals are just stopping off points along the way, like a nice vista or pretty waterfall on an all day hike and just as fleeting.  To truly live we must make our journey the point, make each footfall count, make now the objective.

So let’s go hiking :)

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18 thoughts on “The Hike

  1. Pingback: If We Were Having Coffee on the 3rd of September, 2016 | Trent's World (the Blog)

  2. Zee

    I completely agree with you about letting it be about the journey and enjoying the moment. However, I’m one of those people who were saying to you ‘why not reach the top’ hehe ! Because view from the top is always SPECTACULAR ! Plus it makes the hike and all the effort and sweat worth it when you reach the summit and see the breathtaking view. But that’s just me, nothing wrong with enjoying the hike as well 😉

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Sometimes I reach to the top, but on Monadnock I skip it – too many people and the views aren’t that much better than from just below the summit. But if you came here hiking I’d of course make an exception and go to the summit. ;)

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  3. brittabottle

    Certainly not mind blowing or earth shattering, but still a nugget of wisdom that most people don’t bother to even consider in their busy, daily lives.

    I’ve been trying to work at living more in the moment recently and am considering writing up a post in regards to it, too. Last week was a super high anxiety week for me. I was consistently worrying about situations outside of my control and it was really debilitating. The other day, as I was walking home from the bus that I take to and from work, I felt that anxiety creep up. However, instead of letting that anxiety overtake me, I reacted in a way that was completely and totally beneficial to myself–I quickly reminded myself that worrying about the currently non-existent future isn’t going to get me anywhere useful. I told myself to look around at the livelihood of the neighborhood I live in and appreciate everything that I have right now. I told myself that instead of worrying, I should live in the moment–that I can’t control external forces around me, but I can control the way I live my own life…and that starts with the way I think about and see the world. I slowly felt all my anxiety drain away. It was really liberating.

    Mindfulness is SO powerful. I’m starting to believe more and more that the key to a content life is to just be mindful. It can get you a long way in life. Here’s to living in the moment!

    On the note of hiking, I haven’t been in a while. I will happily join you. :)

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I remember how worrying it could be. It is difficult to remember to just live one day at a time and not worry too much about the future. Once you are on a career path it gets that way too, you worry too much about what the future will bring instead of just doing today’s work. Obviously you have to plan, look for jobs and such, but you can’t constantly worry.
      I haven’t done any “big mountain” hiking in a while and really need to go soon! If you were up here I’d take you or if I was closer to the Blue Ridge or wherever is the best place down there, yeah, let’s go hiking.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Monadnock is a fun destination. I do tend to spend a lot of my hiking/walking time thinking about life, the universe and everything, though I don’t always come up with “42”.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Monadnock is a nice hike. It can get a little crowded, which is one reason I tend to stay on side trails and bypass the summit, but is still very much worth doing. On a clear day you can make out Boston on the horizon.

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