Are you Trying to Balance or Move Forward?

Hiking on the Mt. Bierstadt Trail

This weekend, Tony and I got to play in the high country.  It was such a treat to get out and enjoy the changing of the seasons, to hike in a little mud and snow, and to fall into a creek.  What?  There must be a story here…

I was so happy with myself on our climb, because I feel like I finally know how to use my hiking poles to my advantage- keep them moving out in front of me, never let them slip behind because I waste too much energy moving them forward again.  I can’t decide if I like them more when climbing or actually coming down the mountain.  Both ways, they were a great asset to me…until I had to cross back over the creek.  I had already crossed it earlier in the day with no problems.  The rocks were snow covered, so I went slowly and made it across just fine.  Things were different on the return trip.  Yes, the rocks were now mostly dry, so I didn’t have to worry about slipping in the snow. However, parked on the rocks on the other side of the creek were five college age boys from the School of Mines.  I know I should have been thinking of my own path, and not worrying about who was watching, yet I have to admit I had a little stage fright.  Crossing creeks is not one of my specialties and the water was running high and now there was an audience.  That was my first hurdle. The second was that instead of just focusing on putting my feet on the rocks and crossing quickly, I was trying to find spots on the rocks to place my hiking poles for extra support.  This slowed me way down took my attention from crossing to balancing.  In the end, I landed on my bottom in the cold water.  Good thing I was wearing quick dry pants!  Good thing there is no video of this embarrassing event!

I climbed out on the other side after quickly scampering across the rocks, which is what I should have done in the first place.  I told the college boys they picked a fine place to eat lunch because it came with free entertainment.  Yes, it was terribly embarrassing, but I have to laugh at myself, because crossing the creek is such a metaphor for where I am in my life right now.

I think the hiking poles over the creek symbolize how often I get in my own way, not trusting that I can put one foot in front of the other foot and make progress.  I am so worried about making a wrong step that I get stuck in a creek trying to find my balance and I most generally land on my butt!   Yes, there are times the hiking poles are necessary, just like all those people who surround me and cheer me on as I move forward.  And there are times that I alone must take the next step, let go of all that holds me back, and move with confidence.  I was completely motivated once I fell in the water, and I scrambled quickly over the rocks with no issues.  I was thinking about the worst thing that could happen, which was to fall- once I did, there was nothing holding me back from accomplishing the task.

I lived to tell about my hike so my worst case scenario wasn’t that bad.  The obstacles we create in our head about the future are so much bigger than the actual challenges that trip us up.  So the message is clear- Have confidence moving in the direction of your dreams.  Don’t let fear stop you!  So what if you end up on the ground.  So what if you have an audience. You can dust yourself off, let the water dry and have a great story to tell about your adventures.    That is the biggest win- picking myself up and facing my audience with grace and humor. The person who succeeds the most is usually the one who failed the most.

What is holding you back today?  What looks like something that is helpful but in this instance, needs to be dropped so you can complete your task?   The path lies ahead.  Move confidently in the direction of your dreams!


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