A few days ago, I went hiking with my lady. I knew she love doing it, so I thought: why not? It was a new experience for me. Leading up to Sugarloaf Mountain, I was getting jittery. I thought to myself, “Will there be cliffs? How about rocks?” Actually, I worked my nerves into a teeny frenzy. Hey! Could you blame me? I had no idea what to expect. Finally, we arrived at our destination.
The trails were color-coded. Prior to going, she selected the white trail, which was the shortest at 2.5 miles long (unbeknownst to us, it was also the steepest, but we’ll get to that a bit later). And so we began.
The trail almost immediately started with steep step-downs on rock-riddled soil, followed by level ground. So far, so good. We enjoyed the scenery and sounds of nature as we sauntered down the trail. I could hear birds singing their morning hymns, a moving brook meander through the forest floor, and insects keeping busy by buzzing along. It was good to be with great company, enjoying what someone else loves to do. Beauty was everywhere.
Alas, it was time to make our steady ascension, except it felt like we were climbing back to heaven, and that it wasn’t so “steady.” The last leg of the ascension was very steep. Amidst the clamber up, I began to complain, fuss, cuss, take breaks, cuss some more as I’m sure I became a joy to be around. Even in the middle of my minor calamity, there were some lessons to be learned: (1) shut up; (2) slow down the pace; and (3) stay focused.
I noticed that every time I’d look ahead at the elevation before me, I would become fatigued and would think that I would have a hard time. So, I learned how to trick myself into completing the climb. Eventually, I saw that if I just focused on what was immediately in front of me (and not look so far ahead), that I felt able to comfortably complete each step. Wow.
Before I knew it, we were approaching the end of the trail (admittedly, three hours later, no less). While it will be some time (next moth, maybe) before I hike again, the lessons I learned will continue to resonate for days to come.
Until next time,