It’s okay to be mediocre at your hobbies and do them anyway

Jul 08, 2019    /    philosophy

There’s a reason I have a lot of photos of people beautifully hiking up and away into the mountains.

Or the forest.

Or along a beach. 

Like this:

Or this:

Or this:

And that reason is that I am usually the one at the back of the pack.

This may come as a surprise.

Because this blog is full of hiking photos.

I hike often. I don’t shy away from hard trails.

I’ve summited Schilthorn in the Alps. I’ve made my way up the many switchbacks of the Ladder of Kotor in Montenegro. I’ve descended into the Grand Canyon

Give me a hill or a forest or a coastal path and I’m off.

I love walking. I love exploring. I love the slow, steady march toward an end goal. I love when the city noise fades and the trees shade the way. I love the feeling of getting to the top of something challenging. I love pushing myself. And I love the photos I take along the way.

But I’m not the fastest hiker. I’m not going to win any races or break any world records. I don’t have my sights set on Everest or the Eiger north face

I simply hike. Because I enjoy it. Because it mellows my anxious heart. Because the experiences I remember most vividly from my travels usually involve either hiking or food (or both).

And I guess I just wanted to remind everyone that that’s okay. 

You are allowed to have hobbies and not be a rockstar at them. You’re allowed to love hiking and be at the back of the pack. You’re allowed to love cycling and watch as your partner literally cycles circles around you (yes, that’s happened). 

It’s okay to love cooking and not be a world-class chef. It’s okay to write whole books just for yourself or your friends. It’s okay to blog just so you can go back and read your own stories later.

I think it’s easy to get caught up in the idea, especially if you’re type A, that everything you do has to be the most exceptional version of the thing. It’s easy to think you can’t start a thing unless you know you’ll become great at it. It’s easy to be embarrassed when your dog comes sprinting back down the trail every few minutes to check on you.

But take it from this middling hiker: There’s a lot of joy to be found in the things we aren’t best at. 

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6 Comments
  • Ali
    July 8, 2019

    I know normal walking on roads/sidewalks is not the same as hiking through the woods, but you walk FAST so yes, I’m a bit surprised that you’re usually at the back of the pack when hiking.

    But yes, the enjoyment is the important part. Not being an expert or perfect or any of that. I really enjoy taking pictures, but I can’t get myself to care enough to really learn all the different functions of a DSLR to take really amazing photos. I’m generally happy to just take pictures on auto and have the memories. Or to use my point and shoot because I can’t always even be bothered to travel with the big heavy DSLR.
    Ali recently posted…Can you bring alcohol on a plane?My Profile

    • gigigriffis
      July 8, 2019

      Right? I outpace Chad by a lot when we’re just city walking or taking Luna out along the river trail near the house, but hiking is a whole other house of cards for me. Possibly in part because I always seem to be hiking with people who are really great at it.

  • Laurie
    July 8, 2019

    Thank you for this lovely reminder that we don’t have to be the best at things we love to do, sometimes just doing the things we love is enough.

    • gigigriffis
      July 9, 2019

      :)

  • Pat Perry
    July 10, 2019

    I really enjoyed this post, and as always, the photographs. I think it’s wonderful to have the peace of knowing that you don’t have to be great or the best at everything and it’s okay to do something just for the joy of it. Perfection is over-rated sometimes, which, by the way, is a learned attitude for me! With age comes wisdom.

    • gigigriffis
      July 10, 2019

      Definitely! I think it’s a lesson all Type A folks have to learn over time.

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