Why my mom needs to give up on being first

My mother does not like to lose. She’s super competitive and hates being last at anything. When we went hiking on a Backroads trip on Maui and Lana’i in May, she was not happy that we were always the last to finish the hike. She felt like she was the slow, old person who couldn’t keep up.

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Charging through lava fields.

The problem with her assessment is that we were not the last to finish every hike because we were the slowest. She wasn’t even the oldest person in our group and she certainly wasn’t the slowest. She was actually one of the most adventurous. We were the only people in our group who wanted to continue hiking up a narrow wall into the rainforest.

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Worth it.

We were always last for a reason, but it wasn’t because of age or speed. We were always the last to finish a hike because we are artists.

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She can’t pass on a potentially good shot.

My mom is an athlete who practices multiple martial arts and teaches fitness classes in addition to running a farm. She has some physical issues that slow her down, but she’s in better shape than most of my friends and I have no doubt she would rocket past any of them on the trail.

Her problem is with how she’s framing things in her mind. At the end of every hike, she viewed the end result as us being the last to finish, but the reality was that we were the ones who stopped to get the best pictures. During one of our last hikes on Lana’i, she mentioned to Katie, one of our trip leaders, that she felt bad for always being the slowest person in the group. She was shocked when Katie assured her she wasn’t too slow and that we were last because nobody else takes pictures like we do. Katie was right, it’s hard to finish a hike ahead of the group when you always have to stop to get that perfect shot of some lichen or get up close and personal with some turkey footprints.

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Not what most people care about when they’ve paid thousands for a vacation.

My mom’s problem was that her ultimate goal was to get the best pictures, but she also didn’t want to be the last person to finish a hike. It’s hard to not be last when you stop to take pictures of everything. If you’re always focused on being first you may miss something.

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This is what a champion looks like.

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