Pushing Through “The Resistance” On Overnight Trips

by Andy Amick on May 29, 2014

in Bikepacking, Camping, Personal

It’s almost a given for me to experience “the resistance” about two hours into any type of overnight or multi-day trip.  Whether I’m with a group of friends, with my kids, or solo, my mind hits a roadblock with thoughts of home, my wife, and my family.  Once I push through this mental state, I get immersed in the adventure and I’m able to enjoy my time.

The Resistance

What is this “resistance” I’m referring to?  Author Steven Pressfield first defined the Resistance in his book ‘The Art of War’.  In a 2013 interview Pressfield says “I think that Resistance, as I define it with a capital R, is that negative force that arises whenever we try to move from a lower level to a higher level”.

In his book, he also explains the Resistance as:

Resistance is a repelling force. It’s negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.

Most often, the Resistance is used in the context of artists, writers, or other creatives to describe the negative feelings and thoughts that hold people back from doing their best work.  I think it can also apply to other types of activities where we want to move forward but our minds work against us.

For my camping trips, I know I could turn around and go home to be with my family. However, if I were to do that, my mind would not be with my family and I’d be a grumpy jerk.  Luckily, I’ve never turned around and had to be a huge pain to my family.

Now that I’ve been able to recognize “the resistance” is coming with me on my trips, it’s easier (not easy) to break through it and then let my mind settle on the trip.  The “resistance” doesn’t last long and once it’s broken, it never comes back on a trip.

Do You Run Into The Resistance?

This leads me to wonder if other people find themselves hitting the wall of resistance on their trips.

Does “the resistance” pop up because we’re going from our normal day to day routine into a different environment and our brain has to switch modes?

Am I just crazy and I have an overactive mind?

If you are running into the same “resistance”, what tips or tricks do you have for getting past it and on with your adventures?

In the end, we want to be able to enjoy the adventure since that is why we are outdoors in the first place.

Kokopelli trail moab fruita resistance

About Andy Amick
A little bit nutty in general, a lotta bit nutty about bikes. Each of his boys received a bike helmet for their first birthday and the three of them have been biking together ever since.

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  • Ha, I go thru mild forms of this just about every day of a multi-day race. For me a lot of it has to do with energy level–which is directly related to when/what I have eaten. Silly but true–when fully fueled the world is simply brighter to the eye…..
    I know you are looking deeper into it but every multi-day racer I have talked to seems to experiences some form of “resistance”, and each seems to have their own way of dealing with it

    • Andy Amick

      Hey Marshal, thanks for the comment. Good point about the food and how it does make the world much better.

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