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Perseverance Wed, Sep 20, 2006
I have a pretty solid streak of perseverance.  When I do things, I tend to do them until they're done or until they can't be done anymore.  I think this is mostly a product of how I was raised.  When I played sports as a kid and got sick of them halfway through the season, I was reminded that I made a commitment.  Commitments shouldn't be broken because both parties can be and usually are adversely affected.  I've carried this practice into my current belief system.  Some people think you should just give up if you experience adversity.  Some people think you should change your plans if something gets harder than you expected.  Some people think it's ok to be flaky and to choose when to show up and when to skip out on commitments.  I don't think any of these things are ok. 

So when I recently changed my hiking plans mid-hike, I somewhat disappointed myself.  I was all set to complete a goal despite all the obstacles I knew I would encounter.  But because of some unforeseen obstacles (all compounded together), I had to cut the hike short and go home early.  And I think this had a larger psychological impact than I would've imagined.  Not only did I not achieve my goals, but I didn't complete the task.  And it's not that I would've done anything differently if I could do it all over again, it's just that it went against my pattern of perseverance. 

So it was refreshing this past weekend to go hiking again and cleanse the bad taste I had in my mouth.  It was good to complete a goal by reaching a destination.  It was good to actually reach a campsite.  It was nice not seeing any bears or other threatening wildlife.  And it was comforting to sleep in a warm, dry tent.  I'd hate to say that I wouldn't be able to persevere through all that stuff at a later date, but maybe I would just need to be a little less ambitious.  Seriously, 50 miles in 3 days during a hurricane in bear country?  What was I thinking? #psychology


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