I Found Zombies Outside The Woods…

Yesterday, I left my phone at home and went for a short hike in a local park.

My objective? One hour alone with only my thoughts.

I went into the park and along one of the steep wooded trails.

Then I went off-trail a bit and climbed up an even steeper hill through the ferns.

This type of hiking and climbing will force you to breathe deeply. It hones your senses to be “in the moment.”

You have to navigate through brush, watch your footing, and take care not to slip.

You’re alert. You’re focused. You’re present.

That’s where the thoughts will begin to flow.

People don’t understand this side of training.

Everyone focuses on building bigger muscles and what we do inside the gym. Hardly anyone focuses on building the body and mind by getting out of climate-controlled environments, and simply exploring.

When you train in this way, you’re creating space for the mind while unifying the body with the breathing and the brain.

If you don’t believe me, leave your phone at home and go out to the woods.

If that sentence caused you anxiety, you have stuff to work on.

Go to the woods.

Find somewhere that’s got a hill… and climb that bitch.

To leave this park, I had to climb back up another steep hill. Before I started the ascent, I told myself I would not stop my stride or rhythmic breath until I reached the top.

Left, right. Left, right. In, out. In, out. Up and up and up and up.

My glutes and thighs burned while my core braced tightly. My lungs inhaled more and more oxygen, rhythmically filling to the brim before exhaling sharply. All thought cleared from my mind as I was purely in the moment of moving and breathing.

I didn’t stop.

I completed my goal.

As I burst through the final few trees at the top of the hill and into a field, the scene was absolutely surreal…

The park was quiet and calm, but the entrance to the park was creepy as hell. I honestly thought I had walked out of the woods and into a zombie movie.

This park is usually empty and it’s at the end of a dead-end street.

When I arrived the hour before, my vehicle was the only one parked at the entrance.

When I left, there were three other cars there, with fifteen people all standing in a circle around one car, and each and every one of them were staring down at their phones.

I was completely creeped out. They looked like zombies.

I hopped in and left, thinking about the whole experience on the way home…

Seriously, what the hell is wrong with our society? This shouldn’t be the stereotype of the average human being in America.

I don’t know if they were playing Pokémon Go or what. Is that game even still popular?

All I know is we have zombies walking around.

Hell, not even walking, but mindlessly standing in herds while staring at an electronic oracle in their hands.

At a park even…

The entire point of being at a park is to get the hell away from technology. Sometimes you can even find an oasis among the RF poisoning. But it’s getting harder and harder.

I escape to the mountains when I truly want to get away.

I love sitting out in the wilderness and taking in the views while eating a fantastic lunch I’ve packed along. If you plan ahead, you can experience some crazy things, even when you’re being spontaneous.

The ones who live this lifestyle will understand that.

When you explore the world, it changes you. And there’s plenty more places I’ll be exploring. I guarantee that.

But for now, I’m building something. And there are steps that must be taken.

Sometimes, those steps turn into what happened today.

So now, I have one thing to ask of you.

It won’t make me rich, but it will make you a richer person.

If you’re not working right now, pick up your keys, hop in your vehicle, and drive to a nearby park. Look one up if you have to. Leave your phone behind. Find some woods. And go inside.

I take no responsibility if your ass somehow dies.

This is all on you, just like your life is on you.

Enter the woods.

And be silent.

Listen.

Move and listen.

Move, stop, and listen.

Move and listen.

You will hear what you need to hear.

So many of us just need to shut the fuck up and listen to what’s calling out from within.

Do this, and you’ll hear the voice. You’ll hear the fire…

Good luck.

Nick Hagood
Masculinity Rising