How Hiking Can Teach Us Antifragility

On a recent trip, we found ourselves at the airport bookstore, as we tend to gravitate. We often buy a number of books that we both will read, one of these was IKIGAI – The Japanese secret to a long and happy life. The past few weeks I have soaked up all the wisdom on the pages, immersed in each chapter nodding my head in agreement with the impermanence of nature, the importance of movement, eating well, and resilience.

Resilience as we know is the ability to keep going despite hardships, face difficult moments and ride the waves of life’s ups and downs. Resilience isn’t just the ability to persevere but can be considered an outlook we can cultivate within to focus on the important things in life, rather than we swept away in the most urgent or negative emotions.

Brigitte of Coreworx Collective & her team of gym goers hit the trails for some nature time. Cape Schanck

We all face difficult moments in our lives and the way in which we can navigate these make a significant difference to the quality of our lives and our relationships. What if we could go beyond being resilient and cultivate ‘antifragility’?

Fragile is a word to describe things that are weakened by harm or force.

So, to be antifragile, a thing or a person would gain strength, and become better due to a hardship or struggle.

Hikers survey the track ahead that climbs up to the Telegraph saddle

It’s where I had my uh-huh moment. I knew this was my experience, just never had a word for it. Throughout my life, I have faced many hardships and in retrospect, I can clearly see that it is because of these events, these circumstances that I am stronger, wiser, and more knowledgeable. I never appreciated at the time, through all the tears, heartache, and fear that it was in fact making me grow as a person. It wasn’t an option for the most part of it, it was a survival instinct. I learned to trust my intuition, wake up and step into a better, stronger version of myself. A lot of which has been processed whilst hiking.

Being antifragile doesn’t mean that you’re immune to hurt, or to the depths of feelings from the human experience but rather you take those experiences and grow from them. It's an outlook, an approach to cultivating a more positive experience or outcome from a perceived negative one.

A private tour to the Wilsons Prom lighthouse. A hiker takes a