When I go hiking, I like to leave the main trails as soon as I can and strike off where there aren’t any trails at all. It’s a lot of fun to go exploring and find my way around without the obvious path.

Here’s the thing about the non-obvious path: as fun as it is, you can’t just stroll. Strolling is a luxury afforded by clear, straight roads, and those have to be built by prior travelers. If you’re the first, you have to lurch.

The rocks that let you cross the stream aren’t evenly spaced. The roots you have to step over aren’t equidistant from the branches you have to duck under. The broken ground offers only a few safe purchases. Your stride will be uneven. You will fall.

Or, you can stick to the path, and stroll around in circles.

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