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Sometimes I want to scream, “Wake up,” directly at people—those sleepwalking through life.
In fact, not sometimes, a lot.
It is the thought that people are living their lives like a broken record on repeat. Repeating the same day, week, or weekend. Or having the same excuse-filled conversations with themselves. Living a life lacking much purpose. Autopilot switched on.
They might have a short period where they consider a different future. Then the broken record of life jumps back in. They have either accepted this to be their life based on what they have seen before them—their future path paved out in front a copy of their upbringing—or they just don’t know what their life could be like, more wholesome and exciting.
While I hiked Ben Nevis in Scotland, I noticed a lot of people struggle—really struggle. Yes, I am aware it is Scotland’s tallest mountain, but I think it should be achievable by many. One lady even admitted defeat quite near the start of the route that meanders up to the 1,345 metre summit. Based on where she stopped to turn back she had been hiking for 20 minutes maximum. “What a shame,” I heard her mumble, “I will need to go away and train, but I will come back.”
This prompted me to consider how you would train for a hike, and I decided you couldn’t. Well, you could, but why would you? Surely everyone, physical ability permitting, should be able to hike Ben Nevis. If they were fit and healthy that is. If they saw their body as a vessel to move them through life, aiding them to experience the epicness that comes with hiking mountains like Ben Nevis. How would they maintain such a body? By literally that, maintaining a healthy balanced lifestyle where movement, any movement, is a regular activity. Movement can be walking, jogging, yoga, running, swimming, cycling, or attending fitness classes. The list is endless.
An unhealthy body and mind is a challenge for many—as life is experienced behind a wheel, where they have forgotten the use of our legs as a form of transport. Then there is the other excuse, “I have no time to exercise regularly.” Well, they will wish they made time when their body stops functioning and life becomes hard, where a simple walk feels tough.
If someone phoned me up last minute and asked, “Do you want to hike a mountain?” I would reply, “Yeah sure.” This girl is primed, ready for the call of nature.
On the other hand, I can just hear the response of the majority, “No chance, I would need two months to train.” Hiking is walking. Again, excluding those with a disability, we should all be able to walk and exert our bodies for what they are designed for.
If I am really honest. It disappoints me that people have a lack of respect for what their bodies are. And abuse them.
Then I thought a little more about how people diet for their holidays, train for an event like Tough Mudder, or buy new clothes and get their hair cut for a date or night with the girls. It all feels the wrong way around. Like we are training, practising, and priming for a moment, and not for everyday life.
All this feels temporary.
What happens once the moment or event passes? Is the healthy lifestyle flung in the bin after the holiday? The nice clothes locked away, maybe only ever worn a handful of times?
Why would you not want this to be your permanent lifestyle, not as a passing phase or fad, but as a sustainable, constant life?
In the ideal world, everyone would appreciate that their body and minds are muscles that need maintenance—in the form of physical movement to keep the body in peak condition and regular practices like meditation and learning about our limiting beliefs to maintain a healthy mind. Then once autopilot is switched off and regular practices are in place, we can aim to enjoy a more mindful, balanced lifestyle full of new experiences.
You have broken the “on repeat” autopilot lifestyle and replaced it with a life of learning about yourself, filled with adventures. Now that is to be awake.
Hopefully, you are now pondering on what your new life could look like!