Pushing On

Have you ever started something, only to get half way through it, and find yourself asking,

“WHAT THE CRAP WAS I THINKING?”

Well, that happened to me this weekend. Ok, so it happens to me a lot, but for the purpose of this particular Blog post, we are going to talk about this past weekend.

I have made no qualms that I love to hike.  Being out in nature, just makes me feel so connected to God, and I love the adventure it brings.  This weekend, after several weeks of bad, nasty, cold, snowy weather, we finally had a nice weekend.  Of course I turn to my equally adventure seeking friends, and say,

“Let’s go hiking!”

“Let’s do it!” they respond.

So at 5 am Saturday morning we set out for our adventure.

We arrive at the trailhead WAY before the sun comes up…. bad estimation on my part, but oh well, we are the second car there, which means we will pretty much have the trail to ourselves. AWESOME!

Finally dawn breaks and we suit up and take the obligatory before picture at the trailhead sign.  

Then we were on our way.  It is a short hike, but difficult, because the last mile is a continuous uphill climb, with stairs, roots, narrow edges, and lots of rocks.  It ends with a climb up a huge rock face to where you can stand and take in the majesty of the mountains.

The first mile flew by and we were feeling great. The weather was cloudy and cool, but had a slight humidity to it.  We crossed over the gorgeous stream and faced the first rock stairs with the ease of professional hikers.  

Then we arrived at the bend where the final mile, and the decent up begins.  This is what awaited us:

Ice. LOTS AND LOTS of ice. Now normal folks would take this as a warning and turn around. Me and my crew looked at it and laughed. Challenge accepted. This would not break us.

We gracefully slipped and slid, slowly making our way up  the mountain. Each step harder then the last. Suddenly we were not laughing anymore. What had started off as a fun adventure turned into full on work:

Each of us pushed on, sometimes struggling to stay up right. My poles kept getting stuck in the snow and ice, and it was getting more and more difficult to find our footing. After what seemed an eternity, we lose the snow, but find vast bogs of mud.  YEAH!!!!

Finally, we reached the top!

 

I take my picture with the sign that basically says “Hey you, YEAH YOU, You better not climb this or you are going to die.”  Whatever.  I’ve climbed through ice, snow, and mud, straight up, you better believe I am climbing this rock face!

Isn’t it funny, how thing work out though…. just as we started the climb up the rock face, the rains came, along with wind, and the fog.

Determined, I began my climb. I pushed. I grunted. I YEE HAWED. I slipped. I fell.

 

I was half way up when my feet gave way on the super slick rocks and I started cascading down the rock face.  It was at that moment, my intelligence kicked in, and I decided this might not be the right day to climb the rock face.   🙂 I got half way, and I am super proud of that.

The hike down was hard and dangerous. Again, I was wondering why was I doing this? Normal folks run from this stuff. , but I was already working on a plan to do it again.

Just like my hike, life is the same way. It usually starts out pretty smooth, and ordinary. Along the way, there are going to be some rough and dangerous conditions that show up unexpectedly.  How I chose to handle them is going to make all the difference. I can turn around, and refuse the climb and to do the work, or I can  push through. Sometimes, I am going to struggle. Sometimes I am going to fall down. Sometimes I am going to want to quit.  That’s the easy way out.

Without getting dirty, sweaty, and working hard. I  am going to miss out on the lesson and the view. No, I didn’t make it all the way to the top. This time. But I am not going to let that stop me. Yes, the hike was hard. Yes, at times it sucked. But it was also glorious.

I found out a lot about myself. Even though I didn’t make it all the way up the mega rock face, I accomplished a lot. Some might say I failed. I don’t see it that way at all. The only way I would have failed, is if I had turned back when I saw what lied ahead. Sometimes we learn more about ourselves when we fall just short of our goal. How we handle it can make all the difference.  I could have sat down and said I am never hiking again. I could have pouted and sulked at how close I came to the ultimate finish.

Instead, I look ahead. The only way I am defeated is if I quit.

So the Chimney Tops won this round. That’s ok. I will have another shot soon. It will be conquered. More then likely in much better weather conditions, but it will STILL be conquered. That mountain ain’t going no where and I am just stubborn enough to keep climbing.

 

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