Could it be true? If you do nothing else but climb a mountain every week, will you have an undefeated mind? Of course not, but the title sounds pretty good. However, I do believe it improves your inner game.
How does it do that? As I have said before, it is not easy to go climb a mountain in bad weather or when your knees, or back or hips hurt. When you’re old!
First Hike Of The Year
Which brings me to my first point. Yesterday was the first hike of the “season” and year for me. So I have been languishing in the gym on hiking days for five months. Of course I am trying to strengthen all the muscles I use for hiking during that time. I think it works a little.
Working a little is just not enough to compensate for the grueling ordeal that is the first hike of the the season. The tendons in the back of my knees hurt. Yes, my quads hurt. I have a planters wart on the bottom of my foot and that hurts. Have neuropathy and that hurts. Did I mention it was cold with snow and ice?
Mountain As Obstacle
Getting up to the top and down the mountain the first time in months is a challenge. The mountain is an obstacle, but “OMMS.” OMMS? Yes, “obstacles make me stronger.” That is the mantra you need to ingrain in your brain over and over again.
In fact getting out into the 34 degree weather at the trailhead, knowing that to gets colder as you climb is also an obstacle. A mental obstacle, but an obstacle nevertheless.
I dropped one of my Microspikes. It was two hours before sunrise so a little on the dark side. Even with my dim headlamp I couldn’t find it. I climbed back down the mountain. Still no micro spike. Then someone coming up the trail behind me found it. Adventure!
That meant I could continue on up the mountain, but it slowed me down a lot. No record time yesterday. But losing one of my micro spikes has made me stronger. How so? I decided to super glue the broken pack strap so it doesn’t happen again.
When I spend 4-5 hours on a mountain I need salt pills to keep me from getting cramps. Yesterday, I forgot the salt pills. So guess what? I got cramps coming down. Cramps were an obstacle to a good hiking experience. And of course obstacles make me stronger.
How did I insure that would be the case? When I returned I immediately ordered some more salt pills and put them on my pre- hiking check list. You do have a check list don’t you?
Wrapping It up
The conclusion is that because obstacles like mountains, lost Microspikes and cramps make me stronger mentally, then climbing mountains certainly contributes to my inner game.
The photograph on this page is one I took yesterday morning. I hope it inspires you to Go Hiking!