I stumbled upon Jordan’s Instagram, and soon after his website because he settled on “trail-ology” to name them both. After reading some of his posts I can see we certainly relate on some level beyond just a word.
His piece “5 Things I Learned From The Appalachian Trail” is great (so are many of his other posts). This part in particular spoke to me, and prompted me to share Jordan’s words:
4. Stress Is A Waste of Energy
Seriously, why do we do this to ourselves? Before the trail, the majority of my stress would stem from some future event that I was working towards. I remember leading up to the event (no matter what it was) I would be conjuring up different scenarios of how it may go and what could go wrong. The problem is, the way in which you may think something may turn out never turns out the way that you thought it would. So why waste the energy stressing about what could possibly happen? Instead just use that energy into enjoying the process that gets you to the event. The trail has doubtlessly taught me to just enjoy the present moment; because, truly, it is the only moment that you actually live in.
#’s 1, 2, and 5 also spoke to me. #2 feeds into #4 or vice (process) versa:
If you set a plan, you will feel like you have to stick to that plan and not deviate from it. Ideas though are fluid and change all the time. They can grow into something completely different from their original intention. It leaves you open to chance and spontaneous opportunities.
What is a plan, if not an idea? Anyway, I dig. Perhaps it’s how hard you hold that idea that makes an idea a plan. Like swinging a pick, a firm grip is good, but holding on too tight can wear us out faster, if not cause an injury. As far as #5 goes, “The Trail Doesn’t End At The Last White Blaze,” could be truncated to the heart of the matter: “the trail doesn’t end…” especially if it is loop! Loop or not, what we do, or how we interact with those we touch is a part of a chain of events and loops that intersect with other’s loops that become a web of events that shape us, and those we interact with. The interactions or reactions become the world. Similarly, trails don’t make themselves, and neither will the world…well, it will go on without humans, but humans can certainly create the (trail) experience/s we wish. Further, as with trails, there can be destruction, or is, but how do we minimize impacts, and collateral damage to find balance? Maybe “plan” on “ideas” that minimize “stress” as to keep erosion and displacement to a minimum. That said, Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly come to mind, but the former eventually becomes Truth no matter how hard we may try as “entropy is not a human issue, its matter of course.” Still, it’s worth the time we do have in climbing our own mountains and blazing our own course to step back and act as if something other than our own self matters, stress be damned for all things. I suppose that’s a “hope for tomorrow” as Jordan’s #1 points out: “We would all go around in a circle and tell each other our high moment of the day and our hope for tomorrow.” As far as “high moments” go, happy trails y’all, tread lightly as we always leave a trace.