I achieved something this weekend that I thought I'd NEVER be able to achieve! It was a huge accomplishment for me! I am thrilled (even if I am paying the consequences for it).
It all started in small group ("Daughters of the King" - for single women). One of the ladies in the group announced that there was a hike coming up on Saturday. I (accidently out loud) said, "I'd love to be able to do that!" Well, immediately my good friend Kendra said, "I'd be glad to keep your kids for you so that you can go."
Oh. Well. What excuse could I come up with not to do it now? I asked lots of questions to the man who was planning the hike. Yes, it was a hard trail. Yes, it was all up hill. Sure, he thought I could do it.
I knew it'd be a challenge, but I have been walking 2-3 miles 3-4 days a week for the last month. The hike was 2 miles up the mountain and 2 miles back down. How hard could it be??
So, with the children all settled, I met at the church a group of people (most in their young 20's, I might add). I volunteered to drive, since I had a van and could carry more people. So, off we went! It was a beautiful trip up past Gatlinburg. We drove through Townsend (the peaceful side of the Smokies). It was gorgeous! Breath-taking.
We arrived at the trailhead excited! A few of us were a little nervous, but mostly pumped about the day and the beautiful weather. As we headed off, we saw a few people completing the hike - huffing and puffing. (I'm thinking, they just did the easy part of the hike - coming DOWN the mountain!???) A young guy on the trip commented, "Uh-oh. She's out of breath. I'm in trouble." I stay brave...
It was hard. As in the sign said "strenuous". It wasn't kidding. The first mile was all uphill. Pretty steep at some points. The second mile was almost all STEPS. And I don't mean paved steps (somehow that sounds easier to me, I don't know why!). It was jagged rock steps. My legs would just go numb/weak at some points and I couldn't take another step up. I wasn't alone with this struggle (thankfully). We had to stop and take recovery breaks. But I was determine to get to the top! And so I pushed on.
Finally, we made it to the top of the mountain and what was before us? A huge rock wall! I had seen pictures of this wall online and decided that I wasn't going to climb that part. But once I got there, I let myself feel some pressure to do it. After all, the group's plan was to climb to the top and eat lunch up there! So I started climbing...
Now I have to add right here that I am TERRIFIED of heights. Like, I can't go past the 2nd step on a ladder. Like, my boys had a loft in the room in our last house and I never went up there (couldn't - it was too high). So, this was yet another challenge to overcome my fear of heights. And yet I climbed...
I climbed over halfway up the wall and realized something. I had accomplished my goal to get to the top of the mountain. This wall thing was only a dangerous feat for me to attempt. I wouldn't regret finishing the climb. I'd be proud of myself for making a wise decision to protect myself for my family's sake. And so, I backed down the cliff and waited at the bottom with some other people who were waiting too.
I thought the worst part was over and the going down the mountain would be a breeze. It was easier, I will say that. But it was hard on my sore legs too. They felt like spaghetti that would give out at any moment. But they didn't. And I made it back to the car.
I made new friends that day. I got to know old friends better. I enjoyed the beautiful scenery and weather. I praised my God. And I accomplished a dream.