The Hardest Climb

It was the first time, but it wouldn’t be the last. As I struggled up to the edge of the Cliffs and looked out over the grassy peaks before me, I kept saying to myself….“this won’t be the last time!”

Lazy.  Up until a few months ago that would have been the best word to describe me. If it required effort, time, or energy…I wasn’t interested. Sitting around, reading my books, napping, or watching a documentary on PBS was my ideal of a good time.

As I would scroll through Facebook in the evenings I would get so jealous as I saw the lives others were living. They were out doing things I wanted to do.

My list of excuses where long, and well played out. For years I had told myself “You can’t”

I can’t do that alone.
That’s too hard.
That takes too much time.
What if I get hurt?

Slowly and very deliberately, I was letting life pass me by. Others were making it happen, and what was I doing? Sitting on my coach gorging myself on Little Debbie’s and my 90210 DVDs.


I hated life. Why did others get to have all the fun? I am an adorable, spunky, awesome little redheaded girl… I wanted to have fun too.

Something happened when I turned 41 this past January. There was no defining AH HA moment, or Flash of light from heaven, but I woke up one morning tired of being lazy. I was going through my Facebook Feed on one particular morning when I was snowed in and I saw this picture.

It was true. I wanted to achieve great things, but I didn’t want to do any of the work to get there.

Over the past few months I have written quite a bit about my struggle at finishing what I start. I am a natural born quitter. I HATE when something is hard or difficult.  It is so much easier to just give up and quit then to carry on. However, in doing so, I miss out on SO much.

One of my favorite TV shows is The Middle. Last year during her Senior year, the middle daughter Sue, named her epic year, The Year of Sue. Following her lead, I officially dubbed 2016 the Year of Jess!

Doing things I would not normally do, and getting out of my comfort zone is the focus of the Year of Jess. I want to set Goals and follow through to their completion. I want to STOP being  a quitter.

In March came the first challenge. Hike alone. This was not just ANY hike, but a difficult hike to one of the most beautiful places on the earth.  For years I had watched friends and family hike up to Mt. LeConte and I envied their stories and pictures. Now I was going to do it myself.

The hike was hard. Many times during the climb up I wanted to quit. I stopped and cried several times along the way that day…but I made it. You can read about all about it here:  A Walk Amongst The Clouds.

As I stood there looking at the most indescribable beauty that stretched out before me, I realized the truth of the quote I had read back in January. Yes, the view was gorgeous and breathtaking, but the true beauty came in the process of getting there. With each and every step, I became less of quitter. In the time it took me to get to the top, I realized that YES, it was tough, but you know what?  So AM I. I am NOT a weakling. I am NOT lazy. I CAN push through, and I CAN do difficult task if I just DO it.

Since that time, I have gone up to Mt. LeConte three more times in last two months, with another trip coming soon.  The climb is never easy, but it is always worth it. Sometimes the two hardest steps I take are the two that begin the journey, but after that, I feel like I am right where I need to be.

Since then I have almost accomplished all the goals I set out to do in January. That’s ok though, because I am setting new goals right behind them. Now that I know I can do it, It may be the first time, but it won’t be the LAST!!!

<a href=””>Opening Line</a>


6 thoughts on “The Hardest Climb

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