I live in the Appalachians, the oldest mountain range in the world, which makes it, by extension, the lowest mountain range in the world. If you didn’t know differently, you’d be tempted to refer to the Appalachians as hills. They feel like mountains to me when I walk them each day.
I live, as luck would have it, at the top of a decently steep hill so the toughest part of any walk I take is always coming back. I learned the hard way that the best way to approach that climb was by going downhill just before having to go uphill so I follow the same route every day and, thanks to Mother Nature, it’s a different walk every day… except for the uphill/downhill part and I give thanks for that. My need for consistency in that department is why I would never live in California.
Early on in walking the hills I learned a very critical lesson: walking uphill and walking downhill are two very different things. Walking up or down a hill affects different muscles, putting strain in very different places. You simply cannot approach a walk i the hills as you would a walk on a relatively flat plain. You have to adapt your body, our speed and your style to the lay of the land. You have to develop different rhythms for each of the tasks at hand.
Walking the hills is just like living life.
Sometimes, to make the most of a situation, you have to lay back and take it slow, carefully placing one foot in front of the other; other times, you can relax, give your hips permission to sway a little and move through whatever it is as if it were all a dance. What you have to do first is pay attention to the geography: what’s going on here? Is this an uphill kind of a challenge? Do I need to be more deliberate? Or is this a downhill run? Might I need to exercise some control to stay in control or can I just go flat out?
Whatever the situation, you’ll need to establish your own rhythm within its context because it is your consistency – your rhythm – that will allow you to maintain integrity and stability as part of the process rather than be perceived – by the process itself – as pushing when what is wanted is pulling or vice versa.
Bottom line: pay attention, respond accordingly by finding the rhythm that works for you and by changing it when necessary. Life is just a walk in the hills.