I listened to an episode of the Mighty Blue on the Appalachian Trail podcast recently that featured a women named Caroll Coyne who thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2019-20. She quoted a hiker named Ned who gave her some great advice.
“Before you start hiking a long trail, decide if you’re a hiker or a camper,” he said.
She went on to explain that hikers are the ones who are focused on daily miles – the more, the better. Their mileage count is what drives them.
“But then there’s the campers,” Coyne explained, “that see a beautiful meadow, and even though they’ve only gone ten miles, they are going to stop there and have a long watch. Or they’re going to stop there and camp for the night because it’s gorgeous.”
She's a camper.
If you read this newsletter, you are probably a camper too. Or maybe you are a hiker who sees the benefits of camping and you want to experience more of it. Let's use terms we can probably all relate to. I like to differentiate between do-ers and be-ers.
Do-ers are all about productivity. Be-ers are all about enjoying the journey.
With thru-hiking, as in life, you have to do both. It's just that do-ers are sometimes forced to be and be-ers are sometimes forced to do.
In my case (as a be-er), I get a little grouchy when I don't make time to be. And I suspect that do-ers feel the same way when they slow down for any length of time. We're all wired differently. That's okay.
But since most of you are be-ers, I want to speak directly to you this week. Be-ers sometimes get a bad rap from do-ers. Mary and Martha come to mind. Even so, be anyway. Find ways to pull away by yourself. Or just slow your pace and let the do-ers rush past you. You'll end up with other be-ers who are existing at the same pace as you, and you'll form a special bond with them. I suspect the same thing will happen with do-ers. They'll bond with other do-ers.
That doesn't stop me from trying to go deeper with do-ers though. It's often more difficult to get them to stop long enough to hang out for a while, but I keep trying because we can learn something from one another.