This weekend was our sixth anniversary. For the second year in a row, we were able to go backpacking. (We used to go a lot pre-kids, but pregnancy and babies made that overly challenging for a few years...) When I talk about backpacking, I don't mean the type you do when you go through Europe staying in Hostels. Rather, I'm talking about the kind of backpacking where you strap a 50 pound pack on your back, and hike to your campsite.
We started our day early, but with a two hour drive first, we still weren't hitting the trail till almost 9:00. (We got up at 5:00 am though, so I'm not really sure what happened to the other two hours...) This year, we were heading into Yoho National park. Our main hiking plans included the iceline trail and the whaleback trail, sections we'd never hiked before.
This plan involved quite a bit of elevation, and it was right from the start. I was happy to find that I had more stamina for it then I expected. A few years ago, hiking with this kind of elevation gain had me gasping for air at every switchback. Now, it still takes an effort, but it's an effort that I'm easily capable of.
The thing is though, sometimes you need to stop and look around you. Sometimes you need to stop and look back at how far you have come. Sometimes you need to take a moment and enjoy the scenery.
While hiking, it occurred to me that in many ways this is like my journey into triathlon. I have big plans and big goals, and sometimes, I spend so much of my energy looking forward, rather then enjoying the part of the journey that I am on. In our backpacking trip, we had destinations to get to, but if we had spent all our energy worrying about that, look at what we would have missed along the way...
Don't forget to enjoy the journey. The destination might be great, but the views along the way are worth stopping for once in a while.