Yesterday’s hike was challenging, but so rewarding. Like sobriety. In both cases, I had to start at the bottom and work my way up, overcoming obstacles along the way. Some parts were easy, some uncomfortable, and others flat-out difficult.
I enjoyed the beauty of the journey; cascading waterfalls, huge granite boulders, and blooming wildflowers. It felt good to be alive, healthy, and strong. Really good.
Three miles in and 2000 feet up, I neared the top. It was hot and I was tired, but I knew if I could make it the last 300 yards to High Camp, a burger and a mocktail were waiting for me. And a spectacular view.
But this was by far the hardest part. Dirt gave way to snow. Other hikers were turning around, deeming the last stretch impassible because of the deep snowpack (in June!) and steep incline. The trail was long gone but I could see snowy footsteps leading up to the top and disappearing over the rim. Others had done it and so could I. In my mind, there was only one way, and that was to push through.
I made my way up slowly, arms and legs spread out like a starfish, attempting to maintain a solid grip on the snowy mountain face. Using the toes of my hiking boots, and sticks in each hand, I crawl-pulled myself up, one stick and one toe at a time.
The feeling upon reaching the top was a mix of relief, elation, pride, and pure ecstasy. I felt like I had just completed one of those multi-continent adventure races and was crossing the finish line. I felt like I could do anything and it was AWESOME. As was my well-deserved burger and elderflower mocktail.
So, my message to you is: Be patient. Have faith. Believe in yourself. Keep your eye on the prize. One step (or toe) at a time, or one day at a time, you WILL get closer to where you want to be. Keep going. I promise you, it will be worth it.