Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Changing One's Mind is a Good Thing

I’ve always thought it odd that politicians are criticized for being “flip-floppers” when they thoughtfully change their mind on a subject. To me, changing one’s mind is a positive sign that we are continuing to analyze the situation and are open to learning new things. I believe it shows strength of character to admit that we no longer agree with how we used to think and change course.

The other day as I was visiting Mikko in Dallas, we went for a hike in TX Hill Country. It was a short hike, but it was pushing 90 degrees Fahrenheit and it got me to thinking. About half of my pending Pacific Crest Trail hike was scheduled to be through the desert of southern California. I was going to start at the Mexican border and work my way north to Yosemite. The original impetus for this particular hike was that I want to hike the John Muir Trail which is about 200 miles long and supposed to be the most gorgeous mountain scenery in the nation. But I also wanted to do a hike that would last closer to two months. It seemed simple to just start at the Mexican border on the PCT and hike up to Tuolomne Meadows in Yosemite, a total of almost 1000 miles.

So I began planning for that trip. But as it neared I began to have second thoughts about how joyful of a hike it would be because in that first 500 miles of desert I’d be constantly concerned about finding water. Worrying about staying hydrated just doesn’t sound like a fun time to me, and I’m thankful for my hike and conversation with Mikko that finally jarred my brain into changing my plans.

I’ve noticed again with myself that when I have a plan and am moving down that road (whether it be a career or a hike) it is noticeably difficult to change away from that original idea. It’s real easy to get stuck with the status quo and hard to take a step back to re-examine the big picture of why I’m going down that road to begin with.

Hopefully I’m learning from these lessons and will be better about continually examining where I’m at, where I’m going, and where I really want to be going.

So I changed my route and will just skip that first 500 miles of desert by starting my hike farther north on the trail and then continuing farther north to make up for it.

As a result, I've been scrambling a bit the past couple days to re-plan all my supply points -- a hiker on the PCT has to mail boxes of food to themselves at post offices along the trail because there's just not enough food readily available along the hike.

Should be good to go now, though.

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