Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, believe or wish life just doesn’t go according to plan and the path to where we want to be is full of discomfort and possibly pain and hurt and yet if we wish to achieve or goal we have to take that path.
Sometimes the answer is just to embrace the suck!
A few weeks ago I went on a hike with someone. Now we had planned to do this hike weeks before. It was a long weekend of which sat and Sunday I was doing 18 hour days both teaching and at an event. This left the Monday. We woke up later than we wanted to because well I was a little burnt out. Then we found out there was a leak in a property that we had to check out. This delayed us heavily.
Normally when you do these kinds of hikes in BC you want to get there no later than 10am. Unfortunately, we didn’t even leave until noon or 1ish. Start the 1.5 hour-ish drive to the hike start.
Of course, the place we went to Garibaldi Park in BC is a very popular destination so our first struggle was to find a spot. Eventually, we found one, a good walk away from the trailhead.
My plan had been to test out the new and mildly expensive backpack that I plan to use when I start hunting. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that, Oh shit…where are my hiking boots….
You see its summer and I like flip-flops. Normally my boots are always in the truck, along with running shoes. But due to the event, the day before I had taken everything out and I guess…shit happens.
I dont know about you but I am not doing a 20km hike in flip flops because I feel like that’s asking to break an ankle.
Now the person I was with was not thrilled. The suggestion was to drive back to the nearest town, Squamish or Whistler and get shoes. However, if we did this by the time we started the hike we would not have time to come down before sundown which was not an option.
Again, they were not thrilled….
To avoid catasrtophy I made the snap decision. Ok not to worry, I won’t take my backpack, Ill just take my light jacket with water pouch and do it barefoot.
“Wait what? No, you cant do that. I won’t let you.” is what I was told or something like that. At first, they were reluctant.
“Not to worry I said, I’ve done barefoot hikes before.” I am fairly sure I claimed confidently. Though the truth is the last time I did it, it was on a soft moss covered path that was well actually not very long at all, maybe only 15 minutes. They, of course, didn’t know this at the time and after I told them,
“If you dont come I guess I’m doing a barefoot hike by myself.” they reluctantly decided ok we can do this.
Mild stretching of the truth aside I made this decision to make someone else happy. I knew it was going to suck, and it kinda did. But I also knew that it would be worth it in the end, which it was.
It for sure took us longer than we wanted to and several fairly in shape elderly individuals with hiking polls passed us on many occasions but we made it. 3 hours up, and surprisingly 3 hours down.
Down is always harder and was actually worse on the feet than up. Not to mention my bad knees.
Anyways, I Often try to teach my students that what you think is difficult may actually not be as hard as you think. The truth is you dont know until you try. The other thing is even if you were right, at least you know your baseline so you can grow.
Also, people have a hard time breaking social norms. Doing a hike barefoot is not normal and may seem crazy but really wasn’t that bad. Though the number of comments made by people passing us was quite high. Because I mean who else would willingly do this barefoot?
But the moral is, that sometimes you have to make hard choices or take harder paths because it is the right thing to do. Too often nowadays, we always want to take the easy path but this is not always the right thing to do.
Just like in Krav Maga. Sure you can take that Krav seminar once in a while and say you know Krav Maga, but really that’s just bullshit. If you want to learn it properly you must, like anything, come often and train with the serious intent of getting better.
Of course it will be uncomfortable and of course, you will be challenged, but if you can never overcome what is uncomfortable or hard you will never truly earn anything worth earning.
So, learn to embrace the suck and be a better person for it.
With out a tough journey the reward will not be quite as sweet.