Life Design: Slow Learning and the Beauty of Hobbies

Half Dome

Every hobby is a journey with lots to learn along the way. Reading a book to accrue knowledge or creativity, gardening outside to grow beautiful flowers, cooking delicious herbs or scrumptious veggies, or just hiking up a hill to see the surrounding area around you. It’s all a pathway to finding new things about the world around, within, or somewhere near us.

At times, it’s hard to realize the steps required to reach the destination. It gets so easy to fixate on that pinnacle point of your potential.┬áIn this way, the journey becomes less meaningful and more destination oriented. It’s good to have goals, but creating the pathways to them are equally as important.

Half Dome
After finishing high school, my twin brother and I hiked up Half Dome in Yosemite Park. We were at the fresh age of 18. A few years beforehand, we visited the national park and saw that huge granite piece of rock. We both looked at each other and knew immediately we had to climb it. Somehow my parents remembered that key aspect of the trip and took us back.

It was a grueling 6 hour hike up and another quarter of a day back down. To me, we spent so much time walking and running up the mountain that at times we didn’t soak in the scenery around us. However, we knew we had a time constraint. We and my parents didn’t realize that we barely prepared to make the hike. We wore comfy tennis shoes, brought 3 bottles of water, and a few snacks. The only thing we made sure to do was wake up really early to get our day started. Our physical shape was over estimated as well. Even in our teenage years, we weren’t as fit as we thought.

With each way point along the trail, we thought we were almost there getting closer and closer. My focus was too intent on getting there. We finally reached the base of the dome and didn’t realize it was still another hour or two up.

Getting to the top turned out to be easier than I thought and not as satisfying. Although looking down into the valley was pretty cool. Getting down was another story. The physical force of gravity working with your legs and muscles created a harder impact. Our little teenage bodies had to absorb more force and continue that for another 8 miles down.

At the end of the hike, we made it. The 12 hour hike got the best of us though. My brother and I were debilitated for a few days and couldn’t enjoy the rest of the trip. We were burnt out and beaten down by ourselves.

Lessons Learned
Being over prepared at times can be a good thing but don’t get too fixated on all the details. Focus on the crucial and limiting factors. Take time to enjoy the experience. As you can pick up the pace do it at a rate that doesn’t destroy your mind, body of soul.

And Enjoy the Journey.