Long Live Dropping The Ego

“Film me as I run up this hill” I excitley demanded while throwing my phone towards my hiking partner.  We were along Peralta Trail in the Superstition Mountains, right along the spot where Weaver’s Needle a tall rock formation first comes into view.

This wasn’t my first rodeo on Peralta Trail. In fact, two years earlier – I was huffing and puffing my overweight sweaty body right to this spot.

Weaver’s Needle along the Peralta Trail, Photo By; Allison Noble

Now I was healthier, more fit…and had a lot more hiking miles under my feet than last time. I thought it would be “cool” to film me jogging up to this viewpoint, to make it appear as if I jogged this entire trail. In short, I thought I would look like a hiking badass.

Instead, as I turned around ensuring that my camera was on and filming, I began lightly jogging up only to then, trip over a rock sticking out along the trail and fell down hard, hurting my ankle.

This was the very first time (of many) that nature put my ego into check. In fact, the more adventures I’ve had in the outdoors, the more lessons I get taught to drop the ego.

Which, is one of the main reasons, I return to the dusty trails so often.

Photo by Iulia Mihailov on Unsplash

I think the stronger you become at something the more our ego’s become attached to our actions. Now, don’t get me wrong, this can actually be a good thing. For example, when I started hiking – I gave myself personal challenges to overcome. Like,” hike this trail without having to take a break”.

That would be my goal and once I was able to hike the trail without any breaks, I gained confidence in my abilities. Which, was a great booster to my confidence level.

The moment, that confidence turns “cocky” or judgmental, the universe seems to pick up on that and puts me right back into place.

There have been times out along the hiking trail when I’m in my own head too much. Either I’m rushing on the trail, trying to beat one of my previous times, or trying to “get ahead” of the other hikers in front of me. When I do this, I’m not being mindful and living in the moment. Instead, I’m telling myself a story and focusing on how I can get up the mountain faster. I miss my favorite parts of hiking. I don’t hear the birds singing, I don’t see the landscape…instead my mind is only on one single track…get to the top as soon as possible.

Photo by Omer Salom on Unsplash

When my mind is in this place is when I trip over rocks. It’s when my muscles begin to feel pain because I’m pushing too hard. And, it’s when I find myself not having fun while out on the trails.

Time after time of this occurring, I’ve finally been able to fully let it go.

I find myself thinking, “I can get ahead of these people” to “who cares?” I drop my competitive ego and keep hiking my normal pace. It’s almost like a form of meditation or a yoga practice. You have to resist the ego talking to you – and just ignore it. Then I can simply enjoy the hike and focus on my own inner personal challenges.

At the end of the day along my embarrassing Peralta trail spill, my ankle was fine. Did it hurt to hike back down? A little. Did I have to spend the next few days resting it? Yes.

But, that was nature’s way of giving me a warning. To put myself back into check. And, that’s the magic of nature.

It teaches us more about ourselves and lessons we can apply to our daily lives.

Long Live, Dropping the Ego.