There are so many things about hiking that are lessons in life. There is the preparation, the physical conditioning, having a destination, new trails and old trails, and false summits, just to name a few.
Today however I want to discuss something that is ever present on a mountain. People ask you if there are a lot of them or not. They sort of worry about them, but when you go hiking you are gong to find them in abundance. I am talking about switchbacks.
Switchbacks And Life
Whenever I go hiking there are trees which are beautiful, rocks that sometimes beat you up, sky to look at along with the occasional sunrise, and then there are switchbacks. Switchbacks are like life in so many ways so I thought I would shake that branch and see what falls out.
You have heard of switchbacks, right? A switchback is the name given to the trail when it goes in one direction and then “switches” back in the other direction. I guess that is the first characteristic of a switchback. It goes one way and then another. Does that ever happen in life? Of course it does.
Direction In Life And When You Go Hiking
It is important to know your destination when you go hiking. Switchbacks might take you in different directions, but you always know your destination and you trust the path you’re on in life. Sometimes life, just like a switchback takes you in one direction for a long time and you wonder if it will ever come to an end. Then it goes in another direction. Wait, you were getting used to this and had almost mastered it and now it is switching on you. What I have realized is that changing direction is ok as long as you keep the end in mind. Switchbacks have a purpose and that is to make the hike easier. Yes, that’s right. Instead of going straight up the mountain you switch back and forth. Oh, and switchbacks change vertically too.
What if it is steep! A steep switchback is really tough, but then sometimes switchbacks are flat (for a short time) and yes, sometimes they go down for a bit. But a steep switchback, just like a tough stretch in life makes you stronger. Pretty soon you look forward to the challenge as you do when you become more competent in life.
Here’s to switchbacks and all their glory! Now, go hiking!