This week is gearing up to be all about lessons learned while hiking. Not all these lessons came easy.
One of the toughest (most physically stressful hikes) I ever did was along a very popular trail – the Bright Angel Trail at the Grand Canyon. The trail itself wasn’t too difficult. I’ve done more difficult. But my body just wasn’t up to it. My son and I were on a long road trip, all in 10 days. Rocky Mountain national park, Yellowstone, San Fran, San Andreas fault, LA, Yosemite, Vegas, and more. Even a quick stop at Disney Land. The GC was on the last leg.
Now my son is a great adventurous soul, but a lousy driving partner. He says he’ll help drive, but what he means is he is going to go to sleep while I drive. So here we are, facing a 14 mile down and up, and I’m exhausted early on.
A well traveled trail, amazing views, easy start (down after all), and so much made this worth it. But the trip up, yowzah. The last three miles was like walking with lead feet. I was being passed by a Latino grandmother with her 6 year old. The park ranger stayed close for awhile, I think they thought I was going to pass out and make them have to carry me out.
So, I hydrated. I moved slowly, oh so slowly, and I kept progressing … literally inches by inches. And I made it up. Not pretty, not textbook, but with a little daylight to spare. Maybe I made it just to spite my son and let him know this old man could tough it out- especially since he couldn’t tough it out as a drive partner.
Life is tough at times. People passing you by, difficult journeys and circumstances, progress seems almost negligible, and you are weary, oh so weary. You want to stop, find a resting spot and just collapse.
I learned a lot that day – and not just tips for the trail, but tips for life. If you keep moving, going slow even, but keep moving, then progress is being made. I learned I am capable of more than I imagined. I learned the power of motivation from others. And I learned that accomplishments earned through grit, hard work, and pain can often be the more rewarding ones.
This Covid19 lockdown has made life come to a crawl. Plans thrown out, isolation, uncertainty, stress. But we cant give up. We may need to rethink how we do things but we just can’t surrender.
So don’t give up. Keep moving forward. Encourage those around you that seem to be struggling (your words may make the difference in their journey).