Hard work: 6 key life lessons from Hiking and Biking that will help you stay on course.
August 22, 2018
So yesterday I took a bike ride and a hike in Nairobi’s Karura Forest which was a beautiful, scenic, sweet smelling, cold and extremely hard experience. From that ride through the forest, up hills, past some beautiful views and finally back to the car, I realized a lot of things about life in those 2 hours. You know those seasons where it seems like you are going round and round in circles and getting no where? Or when you get like one thing right and then everything kind of comes to a stand still after that? Have you ever worked so hard but you seem to not be moving at all? Has it been long hours, tireless nights, strong faith for so long and yet you still cannot seem to catch a break? Have you been just going through the motions and cannot send to catch a break? Well then, this blog post is for you. I’m going to use my own experience to share with you some things I have learned on the trail that directly apply to life.
1. The road to beautiful places is always difficult:
Everyone who has taken a road trip or a hike knows this. The harder the road, the more likely something magical awaits on the other side. Why? Because many who pass there give up and turn back and thus that scenic view, that beautiful meadow, that grand sight is more or less untouched, undisturbed and therefore remains that beautiful. When I was biking it was the grand waterfall and when I was hiking in Mombasa it was beautiful caves. It’s the top of the mountain that gives you the best view but the road up that mountain is hard, strenuous and sometimes terrifying. But it is so worth it, remember that.
You need to keep watering and fertilizing and pruning and weeding until the plant grows, flowers bloom and the fruit comes
2. Sometimes the hard road doesn’t lead anywhere, but it makes you stronger:
When I was biking, sometimes I would turn into a particularly steep hill and I assumed that at the top, I would turn into a new site or back to the car but sometimes it just became another dead end or it would lead back to the exact same place.
However much you want to believe that the hard road always leads to beautiful treasures, sometimes that is not the case. Sometimes you will climb that mountain, hike that trail, work those hours, take that challenge, do that mission and all you will find is sameness or nothing at all. You see, that journey was not to reward you with anything other than experience which gives you strength. That trying job may not turn into a promotion but it will teach you perseverance, that diet may not make you lose weight but you will gain self control, that course may never give you the job you want but you will learn hard work. The pay out is not always material, sometimes it is emotional, mental and spiritual.
3. The climb is hard but don’t ever stop, keep going:
Have you ever tried biking up a hill? It isn’t the easiest of things. Now at the beginning of a trail, you are excited for the new adventure so even when you encounter a hill, you more or less scales it with ease and if any strain is felt, you are positive about it and you brush it off. But the further you go into the trail, the harder the climb is and the harder it gets on your tired limbs and clouded vision. Sweat is dripping, your legs are screaming in agony and your abs and arms are tired of holding you up.
In life, there are many times when you will need to climb mountains: career, in faith, in studies in family and even in where you live. At the beginning, it’s great and you are psyched for it but at some point, it hurts. Growth hurts, that’s the truth. And to climb to newer heights you have to push through the pain. Get off the bike and walk while you push it, take short breaks, go back down the hill and start with more power, crawl and drag yourself but never stop moving.
4. A change is as good as a rest:
When you are hiking somewhere, the end looks far and your starting energy is lost and all around you looks exactly the same and you suddenly feel urge to stop, eat and order an uber to come get you. Instead, you should take a different trail; it may be longer, but it will most likely pass different paths and sites and you can always rejoin your original path at another junction.
Same thing with life, when you are in the season of sowing; working hard, praying hard,doing so much and the harvest has not yet come through, you may be tempted to ‘rest’. Yet it isn’t time to rest, not yet because you need to keep watering and fertilizing and pruning and weeding until the plant grows, flowers bloom and the fruit comes. Once the fruit is there, then you rest and partake of it. So instead of giving into the temptation to rest, why not have a change? Change your routine, your workout, your meals, your methods of doing things, the people around you or the road you use to get to work, just change something. Change tricks your brain into coming up with new ideas, strategies, and energy to do things and you end up doing more.
5. Know your markings and stick to the assigned route:
Halfway through the trail, I realized that at some point I may have taken a different route without intending too and ended up on a different trail. Now, it wasn’t that big of a deal and I could easily find my way back but I had lost valuable time to finish my course and I had missed the turning to go to the caves which mean I may not be seeing them.
You are on a path: sometimes you change routes to add some creativity into your life, sometimes God leads us to a different path and yet sometimes, we veer off our path because we are distracted or too proud to check with God to ask Him if we are still aligned to His will. There are markers on the path you are on, you need to be aware of them and stop to read them. God doesn’t call us somewhere and leave us hanging, he is always guiding and protecting us. We can take a detour and by His grace, he brings us back to the right path but sometimes, we veer to far off course that we aren’t even in the same area code with out purpose. His grace is still sufficient in those situations, but we end with so much lost time, so many regrets and aches, so tired even before we get to where we were called to be. So watch for God’s signs, listen for His voice, read the map of his word. And remember, however far you’ve gone, God is always close to you for you to reach out and ask for help.
6. It’s fun with friends:
Have you ever gone hiking alone? It gets boring fast, you easily lose your way, you lose motivation and it just sucks. You can go very fast and ve done with the trail sooner, especially if you are fit but when you go with others, you find new things abd are awed by seemingly normal things just because someone else is too. It makes it better. Occasionally, you need that to reset your life and redefine your priorities but most times, you need others around you. You need family and friends to make the trail more beautiful and wondrous, you need them to cheer for you and push you to keep going, you need to hear their voices around you so that you don’t give in to the thoughts of giving up. And you need some good competition to push you to be better.
‘It is not good for man to be alone’ that is what God said. And he didn’t just mean marriage, he meant in life. You need to surround yourself with a cloud of witnesses. Find friends who share your values and have the same faith in God and keep them close, especially in the seasons of hard work. We tend to get lost in our goals and plans, working hard but alone and yeah that helps, but you burn out fast. Work hard, but don’t forget to check in with your family and get together with your friends. Include people in your plans for success and see how far you go.
If you want to give fast, go alone but if you want to give far, go with others
Have you ever been hiking/biking? Do you have your son lessons you have learned in the process? Then please share them in the comment section below. Otherwise apply these lessons in your own journey and see how much easier the season of hard work gets. Don’t forget to like and share if this blessed you.
Hey there! I am Makenah, a passionate believer, writer, avid reader, poetess, wannabe globetrotter and amateur programmer. I enjoy dancing, listening to music, reading, cooking, travelling and eating.
I started this blog as a way to share my journey through life; the pitfalls, the strengths, the beauty and passion, the pain, the beautiful places I go and people I meet and most importantly the triumph of grace in life. I do this so that through my sharing my journey, you can learn to embrace yours and trust the process of becoming who God created you to be and stop obsessing over 'making it' and 'being someone' or 'getting there' but realizing that life is a journey to be taken and enjoyed and the things and accomplishments are not a final destination but a pit stop on your way to forever. So sign up and join me, you won't regret it! And feel free to interact with me either via social media or in the comment section
Love and light to you,