Monday, July 8, 2013

60-Day Hiking Challenge: Finishing What I Started

This was the last blog post I wrote before heading out to Louisiana.


I have a bad habit of not finishing projects that I start. I get these big ideas, and then I only partly make it through.

I don't believe that was the case with my hiking challenge I gave myself last summer. I think I accomplished what I went there to accomplish. It was the best therapy I could've given myself after feeling forced to leave a job I loved and adjusting to stay-at-home motherhood and needing to reconnect with myself.

But for the sake of the numbers, I wanted to finish. To prove to myself that I wasn't just being a wimp when I stopped at day 44 of 60. To prove to myself that I really could finish something and keep my motivation going strong to the end. Because it's easy to be motivated - the hard part is to be persistent. That's what I wanted to learn - determination, persistence. And that I can do hard things.

The snow and the winter dragged on and on, and then it rained a lot. But on the first day of clear, Spring-like weather this year... I got back out there and did days 45-60 of my hiking challenge for myself. Boo-yah! TAKE THAT.

It felt great. The feeling of accomplishment, learning to trust in myself - that I can set a goal and then see it through to the end. That I am capable of great things. I got to know myself better doing this challenge. And on top of that I got to bond with Kal and spend so much quality time together outdoors, exercising and enjoying nature, getting to teach him things.

It would've been so easy to quit. Every hike was a new opportunity to quit. So easy to turn around and run back down rather than keep going all the way to the top. Some days were brutally hot. Some days Kal wanted me to carry him the whole way. Or wanted to stop at every rock and flower and bird and make the hike take 3 times as long as it should. It would've been so easy to say, "That's good enough." But I didn't. I kept going. I brought lots of water and had snacks for Kal and carried him if I had to, even when he fell asleep in my arms and felt like a 30 lb rag doll. There wasn't an excuse good enough for me to quit. And it gave me so much time to think about my life and what I want out of it and where to go from here. It was worth it.

When I finally finished, it felt like the ending of a chapter. Right before becoming a mother of two and starting the next chapter in my life, I ended this one. Closed the past behind me... things I needed to get over, people I needed to forgive, lessons I finally learned... I worked it all out in my mind on those hikes... and it was the start of something new. So excited to embrace what life would bring me next. It was a wonderful feeling.


Cheerio snack break time.

There's still snow on the mountains.

Someone put little quotes of encouragement at the turn posts.

Love late evening hiking. :)

Such a lovely sight when you're exhausted. *almost there*

Ready to roll!

Kinda chilly that day. Looking cool with Kal's sippy cup in hand. :)

Showing me rocks he finds.

Cool kid. :)

He can seriously run up this trail while I'm panting and out of breath.

"Y" trail head --> this way

View from the car on the way up to the trail.

Got my Tough Mudder shirt on. :)

"Y" trail monument.

There's these signs that say to stay on the path, but then you can tell where people have ventured off. Stick to the trails, people.

Erosion control.

Spooky mist over the "Y."

Couldn't figure out which way to look apparently, ha ha.

Beautiful, beautiful sunset.

Kal with his walking stick.

Kal making friends wherever he goes. :)

These two were freaking me out, way out there on that dangerous rock ledge.

The pizza guy was hiking this day! Ha ha.

Staying hydrated.

Checking out the view.

An experienced hiker went missing a few days before, so they blocked off the "Y" trail access on this day. Kal and I hiked part of Rock Canyon trail instead.

TV crews covering any updates about the lost hiker.

There's a hiker lost up there somewhere. Stick to the trails, people.

Running ahead of me at Rock Canyon.

Throwing rocks.

His face when I asked him what he was doing. :)

Beginning rock climber.

I told him to pose and this is what he did. :)

Lizard. He's tiny. So hard to get a good picture of a lizard!

Don't know what I fed him before we hiked this day, but he's got it all over his lips. Lol.

All by myself for the last hike, Day 60. Ready to do this!!

I... love... the clouds.

Tried to get a picture of a squirrel who was just chillin and eating a nut, but he's pretty hidden in the grass.

Teaser view of the Y, well before you actually get to it.

On my way up to the tippy top. I remember this guy who was on his way back down asking me if I was okay because my face was so red. Lol. I had to tell him I'm fine - it's always red. He was so concerned.

I got to the top and sat down and looked out over the city. And I started to cry. It's been an emotional journey for me.

DONE! Goodbye, "Y"... It will probably be a very long time if I ever hike you again. Nice knowing ya! :)

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