Conquering the Mountain

Last weekend I went on another girls trip with two co-workers I affectionately refer to as my “work wives.” I really admire and respect both of these women for different reasons and when we get together, it’s a lot of laughs.

We’re all pretty active and enjoy being outdoors so we decided to do a hike at Chimney Rock State Park. Once we arrived, I looked up to see how far we’d have to hike and all I saw was stairs. A lot of stairs. We started climbing.

At the first lookout area, with an American flag flying high, I thought “Yes, I made it!” until one of my friends pointed out we still had a ways to go. I started to get discouraged. I should point out that one of these women is ex-military and the other is a spin teacher so they both are in excellent shape. I was struggling to keep up-even though I work out and hike fairly regularly. At this point, my insecurities and negative beliefs kicked in.

“You can’t do it…”
“You’re not in as good of shape as you thought you were…”
“Just let them go ahead, you’re holding them back…”
Give up now…”
“Just accept that you can’t do it…”

Chimney Rock State Park – The halfway point

If you know anything about how negative beliefs work you know that it takes a lot of work to change them. It’s not enough to change your thoughts behind the negative belief. You have to change your actions. (Andrea Owen of Your Kick Ass Life has a GREAT podcast about this topic!) This was a defining moment for me. The Universe was testing me to see if I would give in. And guess what?

I didn’t.

It straight up sucked at times. And yeah, I was not moving as fast up the stairs as my friends, but I did it. 500 wooden steps later, I was 2,200 feet high above the ground looking at the world below. I saw Lake Lure sparkling in the sun. I saw where we first started walking. I thought to myself. “I did this. I f-ing did this! I am a BAD ASS!” (thank you, Jen Sincero)

If I had given up on myself and the hike, I would have missed out on a lot. I would not have experienced the beautiful view. I would not have felt the surge of pride for finishing something I set out to do. I also would not have seen the struggles of other people, such as a woman who was walking up the stairs WITH A CANE! She was one of the reasons I kept going, because if she’s out there trying to move forward and overcome an injury, I have no excuses.

This mountain is a metaphor for life. The hike to the top (your goal, your dream, life) is long and hard. It straight up sucks at times and you’ll want to give up because it’s too hard. Even at the halfway point when you think you’ve done it and realize you’ve still got a way to go, you have to keep going. When you finally get to the top of the mountain, you’ll realize how strong you were. Nothing in life worth having ever came from taking the easy way out or from giving up on yourself.

Don’t quit. Believe in yourself. Conquer your mountain. And enjoy the view from the top.

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