Mid-Week Q&A: Being Friends with a Mildly Obsessive Hiker

Generally speaking, my friends have always been pretty good about my obsessive need to hike. Still, sometimes I wonder how they really feel about it.  But when I really think about it, I’m actually fairly confident I know what they’d say. And so, in a quest for the truth, I came up with a list of questions, responded to them with what I think my friends would say, and then asked one of my friends to comment on just how accurately I’ve captured their sentiments.

Join along in the fun!

What is it like to be friends with a mildly obsessive hiker? No really, what is like?

What I suspect she’ll say:  To be honest, most of the time her hiking has zero impact on my life, unless she’s trying to drag me out on the trail, which I hate.  Usually I don’t want to hear every little detail about the hike itself either, although I do appreciate the photos. Mostly I just wonder why she likes it so much.

Also, I hate when she asks me to be her safety check and then goes AWOL. It only happened once, but it was way too stressful.

Her thoughts on my answer:  Very accurate and pretty much my thoughts exactly, but maybe she doesn’t know that as much as I love her gorgeous photos, I am also completely jealous that her hiking ability allows her to see such majestic beauty, in person.   

How many times has she declined other plans in favour of hiking? On a scale of 1-10, how insulting do you find it when she does this?

What I suspect she’ll say: It’s not so much that she declines other plans after she’s committed. It’s that she won’t commit to anything on weekend days, so we’ve pretty much learned not to ask her.  I don’t actually find it insulting unless it’s a special occasion, but it’s kind of annoying that she still expects to be invited to everything even though she never accepts…and I guess, come to think of it, it’s actually kind of insulting that we always come second to hiking…I probably should talk to her about that…

Her thoughts on my answer:  It’s like she read my mind! I think I have to add that it also means that get-togethers often have to happen on weeknights and that’s probably the worst part for me. Otherwise I totally understand why she wants to spend the weekends in the great outdoors. 

Just how bad do her trail runners smell?

What I suspect she’ll say: Words cannot describe it.  You’d think ‘they can’t possibly be that bad’. Yes, yes they are. And trust me when I say you do not want to experience the smell yourself.

Her thoughts on my answer:  Uh yeah. And my sense of smell is particularly sensitive so keep those things far, far away from me.

Has she ever tried to drag you out onto the trail? If so, what were the good things about hiking with her? What were the not-so-good things about hiking with her?

What I suspect she’ll say:  Yes, though thankfully she’s stopped asking me. The good things….hmmm…are there any? I guess I got to see some scenic views. I can’t really think of anything else that’s good but, man, let me tell you about the bad. She lies! She lies about things “not being that hard” and then they end up being insanely steep and unenjoyable trails. I usually want to die. Also, she’s not very good at slowing down and waiting for you. She tries to motivate with songs or peppy cliches but these efforts don’t motivate.  No, they only inspire rage.  The last time I went hiking with her, I was defeated by the end and rendered immobile for hours afterwards. Don’t believe a word she says.

Her thoughts on my answer:  Right again. There is a certain sense of accomplishment when the hike is finally over, and I love that feeling, but my body just can’t keep up. Maybe if she let me take more scenic breaks of the hour-long variety, then I’d be on-board. 

What do you think she thinks about when she’s out in nature alone for all those hours?

What I suspect she’ll say: I don’t want to think about the dark thoughts that might weave their way through her mind while she’s on the trail. She is a chronic over-thinker, after all. Nothing good can come from her being alone with her own thoughts for hours on end.  But I also think that, when she reaches a summit or particularly nice view, she probably is at her happiest and her mind is at peace.

Her thoughts on my answer:  Not quite. I’ve always figured that hiking is what allows her to clear her mind and escape from the over-thinking. Maybe that’s why she needs to do so much of it, to balance out the sheer volume of deep dark thoughts. Now I’m worried.

Do you ever worry something might happen to her on the trail? What do the most likely tragedy that could strike her?

 What I suspect she’ll say: Dear God, yes! She has a bad ankle and a bad SI. She goes off into the wilderness by herself way too often and without sufficient gear.  She doesn’t carry bear spray.  She doesn’t carry enough extra food or water. I really don’t like to think about it because there’s a million ways she could meet her death in the wilderness. A million!

Her thoughts on my answer:  Yes, I think the trails must be where she uses up all of her luck. How has she not had a bear encounter yet? If her luck every runs out, please don’t let me be her safety check.

If you could give her one piece of hiking advice, what would it be?

What I suspect she’ll say:  I’d give her two pieces of advice. 1) STOP GOING OFF INTO THE WOODS BY YOURSELF and 2) If you’re going to have a safety check, make sure you send her a message when you’re back safely!!!!*

Her thoughts on my answer:  Yeah! Get some more gear. I’ve never understood how she can hike with so little water. Makes no sense. Although, more recently I would probably tell her that she needs to rest her SI stop pushing herself to such crazy limits. Of course, she would never listen to me.

And yes, please tell the story of when I was your safety check and I was genuinely worried that you had been attacked by either a bear or an ax-murderer.

*I feel as though that’s a story I’ll have to tell in a future Throwback Thursday!

 

 

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