Learning to Suffer

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Re: Learning to Suffer

Post by Pietro257 » Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:42 pm

I don't think "suffer" is the right word. The word I would choose is "discomfort." You have to put up with a certain amount of discomfort on a backpacking trip, especially (in my case at least) in regards to sleeping on the ground.

I can tell when I've settled into a backpacking trip with this simple test. At nap time, find a flat rock to lie on. If I'm comfortable on the flat rock, if I'm able to fall asleep, I know I'm inured to the trip. My comfort level has dropped so low I can sleep on a rock. I'll be okay.

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Re: Learning to Suffer

Post by MountainMinstrel » Fri Feb 12, 2021 11:04 pm

Seems to that if your doing right the suffering happens when your training not so much hiking.
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Re: Learning to Suffer

Post by sekihiker » Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:57 pm

Jimr wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 9:45 pm
The only time I felt I was truly suffering is when I drank my own piss and my son asked me if I would share my piss with him. Well, there was another time where we hiked out of Simpson Meadow over the Byatch and forgot to dump our alcohol laden toddies and only realize our folly when we were committed, but it pales in comparison.

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Re: Learning to Suffer

Post by oldranger » Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:49 pm

I remembering suffering 4 times in my hiking career. The first was my first foray into the backcountry. I was maybe 9 and we did a day hike into Cora Lake. On the way out we got hit by a thunderstorm. Soon the hail was at least 3 inches deep and the trail was a creek bed full of running ice water. I was wearing tennis shoes and my feet felt frozen. I was miserable but managed to make it out. The other 3 times I suffered I got sick. The first 2 times was altitude sickness after leaving sea level and hiking to high elevation in the same day. I learned my lesson. The 3rd time I got sick was with markskor. It was our 3rd day in and it must have been some kind of food poisoning. At any rate the next day on each occasion I was fine. I never felt I was suffering when hiking. I just came across the following quotation, I think from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, that I copied years ago.

"Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless speed up. I you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Then, when you're no longer thinking ahead,m each footstep isn't just a means to an end but a unique event in itself. This leaf has jagged edges. This rock looks loose. From this place the snow is less visible, even though closer. These are things you should notice anyway. To live only for some future goal is shallow. Its the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top. Heres where things grow.
But of course, without the top you can't have any sites, IUts the topthat defines the sides. So on we go ... we have a long way ... just one step after the next ..."

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!

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Re: Learning to Suffer

Post by Harlen » Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:26 am

Mike, you've composed the perfect response. The quotation is familiar, and I believe, points us in the right direction. Strangely, I was immediately reminded of a lyric in a song by Harry Chapin: It is something like this:
"Took so long, but I finally understood-- its got to be the goin', not the gettin' there, that's good."
Hadn't recalled that for years.

Thanks a lot for your comments.

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