Yesterday was one brutal hike for me.
The humidity was high, and if my glutes didn’t feel like rubber bands from climbing, my knees and quads were burning from the descent.
In six hours, we covered over 12 miles. My feet hurt, I was hot, and lord, was I beat. We arrived at the parking lot and could have called it a day. But there was one more mountain to climb.
At the bottom of that trail,l two park rangers were answering questions.
“How many miles to the top?” I asked.
“One and a half miles. It will take an hour and a half,” she replied. She continued, “There are stone steps to the top.”
“So, one and a half hours, huh?” I said out loud to myself.
“Yes, it’s one and a half miles, and it will take an hour and a half, each way,” the ranger repeated, daring me to mess with her math.
My sore feet were begging me to call it a day. Weighing our options, the girls and I quickly snacked on dried fruit and nuts, and before any one of us put a serious damper on the idea, up, we went.
Ultimately, we can talk ourselves into, or out of, just about anything at all. The key to not quitting is to stay in the moment and think only about the task at hand.
So, I put my head down and climbed.
I didn’t look up to see how far I had to go.
I didn’t look back to see how far I had come.
I just kept attacking one step after the next.
My body was exhausted, but there is only one way to build mental toughness.
Keep going after you tell yourself you can’t.
Hiking is full of life lessons.
~ The ups will eventually go down, and the downs will ultimately go up. Keep a steady pace.
~ Continue to pursue your goals, no matter how hard it seems or how badly you want to quit.
~ It’s essential to have friends with similar mindsets.
~ Take a minute to refuel. It gives you a new perspective.
When I got to the top, I celebrated the spectacular view and my relentless mindset. I noticed a road that made it possible to drive to the summit, which is terrific for those who cannot physically make the trek.
But I hope, given a choice, you’ll take the stairs.