Push your Lim­its the Right Way.

Backpacker - - Skıll Set -

Ex­am­ine your mo­tives.

A big part of out­door ad­ven­ture is get­ting out of your com­fort zone. But look at why you’re do­ing it. In­trin­sic mo­ti­va­tions—like want­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence na­ture or de­velop a skill for your own sat­is­fac­tion—lead to more en­joy­ment. Ex­trin­sic mo­ti­va­tions—like impressing other peo­ple—on the other hand, can lead to feel­ing stressed, pres­sured, and burned-out.

Find your thresh­old.

The Yerkes-Dod­son law of psy­chol­ogy maps stress as a bell curve. No stress means no drive. As stress lev­els rise, so do lev­els of fo­cus and ex­cite­ment. But at some point, in­creas­ing your stress pushes you past the point of feel­ing both chal­lenged and ca­pa­ble, and feel­ings of fear set in, un­der­min­ing both your fo­cus and abil­ity to per­form. Ev­ery­one has a dif­fer­ent thresh­old. Find—and stay at—yours.

Take it slow.

Start small. Take a class or go with friends you trust. It can help to think of your pro­gres­sion as a pyra­mid: Be­fore go­ing on a long back­pack­ing trip, for ex­am­ple, do­ing a few day­hikes and week­end trips will help build both your fit­ness and com­fort lev­els. Need more time? Take it.

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