Everyone Hates Hiking

I’m pretty sure everybody who hikes actually hates the act of hiking. Sweat, trails, inclines, other people on the trails, rolled ankles, the outdoors, and a gruelling amount of work. None of that is very appealing, even for someone who considers themselves a fitness buff. I happen to hike quite a bit and I hate the hiking most of the time.

So why do I keep on doing it?

A couple of months ago I went hiking near Banff with a friend. It was a strenuous incline and I was exhausted after the first five minutes. I couldn’t show it, I had to maintain the “in-shape Brendan” facade. But still. Exhausted. Sweaty. Huffing and puffing under my breath. My friend wasn’t doing much better, but we didn’t know each other very well so we still kept our true feelings under wraps.

We finally reached a good stopping point with a decent view. It wasn’t the top of the mountain, but for our sakes, it was good enough. We sat down, drank some water, had our snacks, and took in the surroundings.

It was beautiful.

Rolling hills spread out from below our feet. Greens spotted with lakes stretched as far as I could see. Behind our backs was a mountain range that flanked either side of us and provided a canopy for our viewing experience.

Not more than ten minutes later and a group came up the trail. One. Two. Three girls came into view. Each of them fit and still in control of their breathing after climbing half of the mountain. Then came the fourth. A guy straggled behind, a few paces down the trail. Unlike his three friends he was struggling. He looked at my friend and I with a jealous look and gave us a wave with a tired expression on his face.

“Hey.”

The group smiled at us and when the guy recovered his breath asked us the one question you shouldn’t ask when hiking.

“How far do we have left?”

I told him they were roughly half way (already 2 hours into the hike). His expression dropped and I could tell he was hoping this was the top. The girls shrugged and continued to press on. He gave an exasperated look, took a deep breath, and stepped forwards trailing behing his friends.

Its amazing how others can motivate us to do something we would rather not do.

One thing I do know, as amazing as the view was that we had, if that guy made it to the peak with his friends his view would have been a spectacular 360 degree perspective of the entire region.

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