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Getting Comfortable with Uncertainty

Dec 29, 2022

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”


It is easy to hide. It is easy to procrastinate. It is easy not to put yourself out there, to stay stagnant. Our world today makes this easy. Our environment grooms us for this. 

It’s different, different to wake up every day and not know what will come. Sure, you know the basics…oatmeal for breakfast again….pack will be heavy again….walking…again but I remember when I would tell people I was going to do the John Muir Trail, I often got the response of “be prepared for everything, the sierras can change in a second”, “the sierras are uncertain” or even “the sierras are relentless”.

…But so is life.

The difference with the mountains is that there is nowhere to hide. Your only “to-do” on the list for the day is make it as many miles forward as you can. You have no choice but to move forward because that is quite literally the only objective, that and making sure you get to your food in time. 

This is the clarity I keep referring to, the black and white that was presented to me so starkly. I chose this challenge and now I have no choice but to take the steps to reach my goal, one foot in front of the other. Sometimes that’s all you can think about. So why is it that normal life makes it so hard to take these steps forward? Maybe it’s the comfort, that we have that other option that is easier and yeah…maybe we aren’t choosing to align ourselves with the highest version of ourselves in that situation but at least we are comfortable, we don’t have to navigate the uncertainty. 

In the mountains, you live in that uncertainty, you get comfortable with it, you even befriend it because that’s the only option that there is. There were plenty of days when all I could think about was just taking the next step but isn’t that the way we should approach any lofty goal, any long journey? 

We don’t have to know every single twist and turn of the path, every rainy or cold day, every pass that we’ll have to climb…just the next few steps in the right direction and then it’s not so big and scary, just our new normal.

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