I used to be the ultimate weekend warrior: Saturdays and Sundays were typically reserved for long-distance cycling plus trad climbing plus hiking plus bouldering plus anything else I had the energy to muster within 48 hours of time and space in the tri-state area.
Three day weekends (such as this one) were even more hard core; local trips just didn’t quench my thirst for adventure, and I typically traveled hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles away by train, plane, and automobile to do something extraordinary (I once spent Memorial Day Weekend in Panama City, Colombus Day on Mt. Whitney, and Labor Day Weekend in Mazatlan, Mexico, all in 2011).
But then things started to shift for me internally. Gradually, and then suddenly, I abandoned the weekend warrior mantra.
My Monday morning modus operandi had typically been one where I’d felt weak after a weekend, and nothing like a warrior. Sure I’d managed to squeeze in a week’s worth of adventures into 48-72 hours, but my body and sense of overall well-being throughout the week had to pay the price.
And when I read Ariana Huffington’s THRIVE earlier this year, that’s when my sense of self-care really kicked into high gear. I didn’t just want to live an amazing life; I wanted to flourish within one. My Saturday and Sunday sunrise starts slowly began to dissipate, as I learned how to feel restored and energized again on a daily basis.
This is not to say that weekend warriors don’t take care of their bodies, but simply that this former one did not.
I also recognize that a primary driver of my own weekend warrior mentality was a strong desire to maximize weekends and bank holidays, particularly in the United States where vacation days tend to be more limited than in other places. I’m incredibly grateful that over the years, I’ve grown into a career where I have more flexibility than most to take time off work to see the world and experience every adventure in it. Not everyone is so lucky, and sometimes the weekend warrior way of life feels but inevitable.
In any case, the next time you’re on a two-three day jaunt to your out-of-state or international adventure that requires eight to twelve hours of travel, consider this: everyone else is too, so staycationing might be your best bet to beat the crowds and the high peak prices.