Leaving aside individual differences in stamina, there seems to be two kinds of rhythm in hiking.

One can choose intensity, move fast, but take more and longer breaks. This is often the strategy of the young and ambitious, who are impatient and laser focused on their goal—the top of the mountain. They dash, rest, dash, rest, and dash again. The further they go, the shorter the sprints they can run and the longer the breaks they need.

One can also choose consistency, move slowly, but rest less often and for shorter intervals. This is often the strategy of the old and experienced, who have climbed mountains and known the limits of themselves and seem to be able to enjoy the views in process more. They progress steadily in an even speed despite the increased frequency of breaks later on.

The fable of The Tortoise and the Hare says a lot about these two rhythms. Although what sentenced Hare to failure was his own indolence, what Tortoise taught us about perseverance remains true—that making moves consistently, no matter how slowly, will ultimately prevail.

If it wasn’t clear by now, there’s a philosophy behind, one that prices long, sustained, and continuous attention over spike of interests and activities. And intensity and consistency might not be mutually exclusive after all. As in that constant efforts poured into practice, that firmness of every steps taken, and that unbreakable ritual, one can also discover something very intense: a determined—almost religious—dedication.