This is a situation which i find myself in many times.
While hiking, one will inevitably feel exhausted at times. You are breathing heavily, shirt drenched in sweat and legs feeling like jelly. You feel like putting down your backpack and quitting the climb. You wish you are at home right now, resting in the comfort of your bed. You begin questioning yourself on your silly decision to go hiking.
After a while, things get a little better. You feel less exhausted and your spirits are lifted. Then, someone casually starts a conversation about future hiking plans. The discussion gets interesting and you find yourself actively listening in and participating in the conversation. Through the conversation, you get tempted and excited about the upcoming trip and before you realise it, you have committed to yet another hike.
Strange as it may sound, this occurs to me frequently and I believe so for many others too. At one point during the hike we grumble to ourselves internally about never going on a hike again and then, making plans for future hikes even before completing the current hike we are currently on.
I think this behaviour attributes from the intense feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction one gets when we endure, persevere and press on to reach the summit. Once we are at the top, all the pain and hardship fades away to be replaced the overwhelming feelings of accomplishment, satisfaction and success.
It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves – Edmund Hillary