Walking

June 13, 2019

BW photograph of a pine and flowering bush in Wenatchee State Park.

Copyright 2019 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Sometimes, you do have a drive a bit to get to where you want to be.  That means navigating traffic and all that entails.

BW photograph of either the Wenatchee or Chiwawa River.

Copyright 2019 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Once there, though, it is time to unwind, to allow the mayhem to dissipate, and to just settle in and let the mind and body relax.

BW photograph of backlit old growth forest in Rainier National Park.

Copyright 2019 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Within the outdoor world there is a concept called the “fastest known time” (FKT), which means that athletes will attempt to complete, say, the Appalachian Trail as quickly as possible.  The current record for covering the 2100+ miles of the AT is just over 41 days-you can do the math.  (As an aside, this particular record may have already been eclipsed.)  The corollary to this in the climbing world is “speed climbing”.  Alex Honnold (of Free Solo) and Tommy Caldwell (of The Dawn Wall-a free climb completed with Kevin Jorgeson) currently hold the speed record for El Capitan-they climbed over 3,000 feet in just under 2 hours.  As before, you can do the math.  Both of those documentaries, by the way, are worth seeing.  What Mr. Honnold and Mr. Caldwell have accomplished together and with others is quite astonishing.  Records, however, are almost invariably broken.

While these are undeniably extremely impressive feats, such activities hold no interest to me whatsoever in terms of participation.  With so much daily time spent getting from here-to-there and with deadlines looming, not to mention the time suck of working online, the last thing I want to do is push myself to fly down the trails when in the woods.  The fact that I am not capable of such accomplishments does not factor into this.  I go to the woods for the relief of stress, not its creation.  I want to linger.

This also needs to not be read as a criticism of those who endeavour to be the fastest at whatever they do.  It is just simply not for me.

BW photograph of some debris in the dried out run-off in Rainier National Park.

Copyright 2019 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Time moves fast enough as it is-this is a perception enhanced by growing older and by recognizing that time, both chronologically and spiritually, is limited.

BW photograph of tree debris in Rainier National Park.

Copyright 2019 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Walking doesn’t change the limitations, but it does appear to slow the passage and allows for the opportunity to engage the details that would otherwise be lost in the blur.

Take care.