Hiking Flaws: Embrace the Suck

When I hike, I tend to bitch… a lot. I can embrace the suck up to a certain point, but after that I’m ready to give a middle finger to the mere thought of this “embracing the suck” revelation.

We recently took a trip to Wild Cat Hollow in Wayne National Forest, which was by far the muddiest hike we’ve ever done. When I say mud, I mean quicksand. Each step I took plunged my foot deep beneath the sludge and buried it up to my ankle. This would lead to me growling and hurling insults at the trail and everything else around me, which would make me question my ability to embrace it and why, exactly, there’s even a need to do so.

I’ll play devil’s advocate and say that from my point of view, there’s a difference between thoroughly not enjoying a situation and just venting frustrations during certain scenarios. If it starts raining nonstop and lasts throughout your entire trip, are you not able to be upset with the weather and still have an excellent hike? I can.

Maybe I prefer not to embrace the suck, instead choosing to say I hate the suck and it should leave us alone so that we can have a much more enjoyable backpacking adventure. Oh sure, I’ll power through it and go without a fire, strip my drenched articles of clothing off, and go to sleep with wrinkly feet… because that’s just life sometimes. Asking me to embrace those parts of life? I refuse. You’re pretty much asking me if someone has a case of the Mondays and I’m not going to play ball!

“Embrace the suck, Matt!”

Hell no, do you see that garbage? That’s not even near the worst part of it, because I was too busy unhinging my shoes from the muddy death grip to take photos during the really sloppy treks!

You embrace the suck, I’ll curse the day the phrase was born and pray it is short-lived. Because sometimes? Sometimes it’s healthy to vent. You know who else tried to think happy thoughts all the time to tried to fit in with the crowd? Jeffrey Dahmer.


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