advice from Blanche de Richemont

advice from Blanche de Richemont

Walkers want to lead everything

For three years, my husband and I have met up with a group of friends and acquaintances every month for a day of hiking. As we are all retired, we take turns taking care of the organization. However, on the big day, some – usually the same two – cannot help but discuss the route and lead the march, even if it means moving in the wrong direction. We take it upon ourselves, but an uneasiness sets in and demotivates us. How to dispel it? Frédérique

The point of view of Blanche de Richemont, travel writer

Dear Frédérique, group walking is an exciting initiation: you experience a metaphor for life in a community. How can we move forward together when some people put obstacles in our way? First of all by putting the frame forward. This allows us to escape from the game of affect. In your group, this framework is clear: you take turns organizing a day of hiking. When you are not responsible for the road, you let yourself be guided, which is also a learning process… So do not hesitate to speak to those who do not respect the rules that you have set for yourself. Then, I believe it is essential not to suffer. Dare to say kindly, without anger, but firmly, what seems important to you. If you let two people ruin the day, that's your responsibility too. You can dispel the discomfort by speaking clearly and explaining how you feel. This unfortunate situation can be a wonderful opportunity to redefine what you aspire to during these hikes: to become one together in nature while moving towards a new destination.

Responses from Pilgrim readers

Share your feelings. A walker myself, I imagine that the tensions that arise in your group make this normally rejuvenating moment lose all its flavor. What a pity! You don't have to be the only one feeling this way. Do your husband and the people you are closest to feel the same way? If so, you could suggest a meeting with the group to talk about it. Opening the discussion can only be beneficial. Albane

Set things straight. Dear Frédérique, the rules of your group are well defined: for each walk, a leader is designated. He prepares the outing in advance and guides the walk on the appointed day. A reminder of how it works seems necessary to all participants. If this is not obvious to you, you could ask someone who has the authority or comfort to do it to take care of it. A “charter” could be drawn up. Robert

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