Remember… in Trailwalker, the 100km mountainous trek, your goal should be to finish happy and healthy. It’s not a race, even though many people treat it as such. Not having to wait (or be waited for) will help you finish happier and healthier, and this means picking a pace that you can maintain without being overwhelmed or getting injured.
It’s quite incredible the number of times that I have been training with people who allow it to slip their minds that we are hiking to decrease poverty, to enjoy the wonderful outdoors, to relate to like-minded naturalists, and also to enjoy many other side benefits that accompany an endurance event of this nature. It destroys the pristine environment when people become impatient with each other’s weaknesses, when people rush to finish, and when hikers ignore a grand opportunity to experience positive life change!
Recently, I have been studying many other wild, challenging expeditions: climbing Mount Everest, walking the Amazon River, surviving alone in the wild, etc. Through my research it is evident that the social side of expedition is both what sustains us and also what ignites our pride and selfish ambition… the dark side of extreme expedition. How to limit these negative factors? I keep asking myself, “How am I going to finish the 100km of hills both happy and healthy?” This is my goal. So far my strategy is to take pictures, to wait for people who take extra down time themselves, to listen to an ebook on my iPod, and to keep reminding myself along the way that Trailwalker is an experience, not a race.
How are you going to stay happy and healthy on the trails? I’d love to get your comments below.