Words by Jesse Cody
People ask me if I’m ready for my next hike. It’s a valid question. The Colorado Trail is 500 miles long with an average altitude of 10,350 feet through the mountains of Colorado. I’m not six pack fit, a guy that works out everyday. I do some good walking throughout the week and tend bar. I read up on pending hike and the possible one or two down the line. I constantly think about the million different ideas I can use with “Hike the Good Hike,” and I keep my finger on the pulse of brand growing etc. - just enough to make sure I’m not slipping.
Don’t look back, don’t look too far forward, stay in the present blah blah blah. Man, just keep it up. Grind away in the city until the trail comes calling. How do I know when that is? Hard to say. Everything about me just tells me so. It’s like drinking a strong coffee and jumping off the walls for hours. That’s exactly it. When I’m jumping off the city walls, it’s my body’s way of telling me the woods are calling.. I’m answering the call.
I feel like every human can relate. It might not be a hike you’re ready for, but you just know when you're ready for something other than the normal everyday grind. Do you feel me? Are you shaking your head “yes” as you read this? We all need a break from the everyday repetitiveness of living. I can scream “Hike the good hike.” all day long but what does that mean to you unless you understand exactly what your hike is?
It’s not my job to tell you that. It’s my desire to make you think, “Wait, I know this guy, Mule. He’s doing what he wants on his own terms. Can’t I do that in some form as it relates to my life?.” And that, in a sense, is exactly it. I’m not married, have no kids. I have a family and support system that believes in me and makes it easy for me to do what I do. As far as “hiking the good hike” goes, I’m in a very fortunate position. It does take some sacrifice and understanding that life for me is just a bit “different,” but would I change anything? Maybe. Perhaps. Or as I continue on, I’ll make adjustments. I’m just doing my best living “my life”.
I still work 40 plus hours a week and grind away to steal the time I can to walk around Cambridge’s Fresh Pond, sit in a coffee shop and write, jump in the car and head to a mountain to move my damn feet. That’s most of the year for me. That’s like many of us. I’m lucky. I can steal months at a time to hike, but we all can create some opportunities if we are willing to find the time. Even if that is just enough time to walk, hike, run, swim, stretch, dance, live life and more. That’s hiking the good hike. That’s us giving ourselves just enough to feel that much better even if it’s for an hour.
I’m just hoping you’re still shaking your head “Yes” as you read this. Regardless of where you are, what you’re doing, you’re asking yourself what’s going to be your hike this week. I know what mine is. I’m coming for you, Colorado. I’m not in super shape. I’m not sure what I’m getting myself into. I know I’m going to struggle. I know it’s going to be another difficult challenge..... Am I ready? I’m ready. Are you?
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Taking care of your physical health is obvious when it comes to outdoor activities; if you’re injured, there is a set limit to how much you can physically do (and a much lower limit for how much you should do.)
Though we don’t always pay attention to them, mental health and emotional health are equally as important. Pay attention to the voice inside your head that is telling you to come down. You will not summit today. That is OK.