Many of the people on social media are only sharing the best parts of their lives. Everyone has bad days and hard times. Someone may have just posted an amazing photo of their latest summit, but they are still dealing with the same crap that everyone else is. Jealousy is an ugly beast and not worth your energy. Be happy for other people and their accomplishments, just like you hope other people will be happy for yours.
If you want to wear full makeup and a cute matching hiking outfit, go for it. If you want to wear jeans and a cotton tee shirt, that’s fine. If you don’t allow your skin touch anything except 100% merino wool, awesome. Heck, if you want to hike in an adult size animal onesie then go for it! The point is when you see someone wearing something you would never wear, don’t cast judgment on them! Enough said.
We love it when people share their adventures and achievements with us. However, I have noticed a trend of self-comparison when people share something “less impressive.” Here are a few examples.
“We went on an amazing hike, but it was really short, so nothing impressive.”
Do not let self-comparison bring you down. Hiking is not a competition! Don’t hike for the satisfaction of others, hike for yourself. If you can only hike 1 mile and your friend can hike 10, you should both be proud.
“We had an amazing adventure but had to turn back. I am disappointed in myself.”
Remember that one of the most important parts of hiking is the journey, not the destination. Learn from the experience and go further next time.
“Our hiking location was not as cool as fill in the blank.”
Hiking is about more than your location. It is about enjoying nature, yourself and the people you are with. Don’t miss out on the fun you could have in the present because you are wishing you were somewhere else.
When we see someone do something impressive it can be easy to count ourselves out. To doubt ourselves or our abilities. “That’s great so and so can hike 16 miles in a day. I could never do that.” But you CAN.
Hiking is just like anything else. It takes time and practice. Like I said before if you can only hike 1 mile that is awesome. Next time try to hike 1.5 miles. It may take a whole year or more before you can do a longer hike, and that is ok! Likewise, if you are never able to hike 16 miles in a day, that is ok too. It is not a competition.
Body image can be a struggle for both women and men. It can be easy to see a perfectly fit person on social media and wish you looked like them. Or condemn yourself not looking more like them. But that has to stop!
Hiking is about happiness just as much as it is about fitness. Hikers come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Do not let your differences hold you back from doing what you love. Are you hiking to lose weight? That's awesome. But make sure you are doing it for YOU, and not to please other people. Especially other people on social media!
Please share this post with your fellow hikers. We hope that it brings encouragement to many!
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