What goes down, must come up…..

What a beautiful and challenging hike it was.   Mt. Diablo is right in my own back yard and it was my first time seeing  it’s beauty from the Summit Trail.   A beautiful day with the perfect weather.  I was psyched to conquer this challenge with ease and grace.  But the finish wasn’t pretty and ease and grace went over the cliff with the ascent up the hillside.   Usually my feet are the culprits of my discomfort.  Not on this day.  My feet were doing the happy dance celebrating the presence of Happy Feet orthotics in my Keen hiking boots and the fact that they didn’t feel flat like pancakes.  And after I wrapped my toes I knew I was on to something.  Today there was no particular physical discomfort other than the challenge of the hike.  We started at the top Mt. Diablo at 9:15 am with the hike descending down into Rock City.  But the hiking lesson learned on this day was ‘what goes down, must come up’ and up….and up…. and up.   I had plenty of mantras and positive self-talk going on as we hiked back to the top at the end six and one half hours.  Mantras such as “Your body likes this” and “You can do this” and You’ve got this”.  At points I thought I’d never see the parking lot again.  And my car? Forget it.  But I made it.  I didn’t finish first and there were no bells or whistles and the finish wasn’t pretty.   But I had a  sense of accomplishment that comes from meeting an intense challenge while doing my personal best and feeling myself getting stronger each time.  Five months of training is zipping by.  I came to this experience a bit hesitant and uncertain with fears and trepidation.  But this has been another opportunity to experience the fear and do it anyway.  The fear can’t be the thing to interfere with the experience, I’m learning with each challenge.   Each time  I’ve taken on a challenge I come to the conclusion that I won’t die, I will accomplish what I set out to do and I’m in great company with others who are also on their personal journey.  There is the physical experience and simultaneously there are life lessons that are powerful and unforgettable.  Service, sacrifice and giving is what I’m learning on a whole new level.  I have such an appreciation for the graciousness of my hiking team, honorees, mentors and coaches.  And learning to give in service in a way that stretches me beyond my comfort zone, utilizing not only my physical strength but also my gifts and talents for a cause is the gift that I receive each week as dedicate myself to finishing what I have started.  I now feel that I can hike Yosemite and I welcome the opportunity as well as the challenge.  Stay tuned as we prepare for our next adventure.    

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