My favorite vacations include hiking. The more remote the trail, the more I enjoy the experience. While I don’t mind seeing people, I much prefer to share the trail with wildlife than “wild life.” Being in the woods recalibrates all of my senses and rebalances me.
I’m not the fastest hiker and I’m probably not the slowest either. But a common question I get when I share a hiking experience is “How many miles did you hike each day?” as though my answer could give them any insight into the experience. Like most sports, the time or distance alone tells an incomplete story. The experience is also about the intensity which is influenced by high altitude, elevation gains, trail conditions and even the weather.
Walking in my home town of Houston poses little challenge and because it’s so flat I can’t even call a 6-mile walk a hike. That makes it easy to walk but presents challenges when I’m trying to train for a real hiking trip. Over the years I’ve hiked in all sorts of conditions. The coldest hike (snow-shoeing really) was in sub-zero temperatures in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park and the hottest hike was across a lava field in Hawaii’s Volcano National Park. The worst conditions I’ve encountered were in the Torres del Paine mountains of Patagonia, crossing a long section of loose scree along a precipice during a cold and driving rainstorm and the scariest were in a grizzly bear-filled section of thick forest in Alaska (I let Tom carry the food pack on that hike). I enjoyed every one of these trips – especially after I was back at the lodge with a healthy glass of red wine in my hand.
The toughest and most intense hiking I’ve done was in Nepal. There, in the beautiful Himalayan mountains, I encountered not only long distances (one day I hiked 12 hours, not counting breaks), but also large altitude changes (I live at sea level) and thousands of stone steps. I couldn’t even tell you the distance I covered – I don’t remember, only the intensity of the experience remains.
When hiking, the intensity presents itself to you if you let it. The more intense the conditions, the stronger your body becomes. Over time you’re not only able to cope with the intensity but you miss it when it’s not there for you, like I do when I’m back home in Houston.
Intensity is easy to find when we’re in the woods or mountains. But what about when you’re in your office working on your CLNC® business?
When you’re analyzing a medical-related case you have to create the intensity and the challenge. You have to consciously go deeper and faster, challenge your own assumptions and produce a work product that is richer than the last. The next time you sit down to work on a case, don’t ask yourself how many hours you worked, ask how intensely you worked. Your output is directly influenced by the answer you’ll be able to give to that question. I’ve often wished I could bill by the intensity, not the hour. What about you?
Success Is Inside!
P.S. Comment and share what you do to get intense with your medical-legal cases as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.