In life there are so many times when we are standing at a fork in the road and have to decide if this challenge we are going through is worth it.
Should I go one way and just be done. Go back to life as I know it.
Or should I go the other way and push myself. Not knowing if it’s a good idea or what to expect, but knowing it will be different.
This weekend I got to experience this with my oldest.
I had an early morning hike planned with friends on Saturday to climb to the top of Cowles Mountain. Cowles Mountain is a 1,591 foot summit and the highest point in the city. It’s hard work, but once you are there it’s beautiful and absolutely worth it.
About 10 minutes before I walked out the door on Saturday, I offered my oldest kiddo to come along. He surprised me with a quick yes and once he was dressed, we were off.
Man, that kid was excited, bouncing all over the place. We met up with our friends at the base of the mountain and started climbing. After about 20 minutes, I watched the happy go lucky grin slowly but surely disappear and the grunts and groans began. I told my friends to go ahead and we will do this at whatever pace he wanted. Another 15 minutes in, he was hating this decision. He was honestly, probably not liking me too much either.
So we recouped. I took him just off the path a bit and we had a talk. All I told him was, “this is hard, you’re right. But its not impossible. One step in front of the other, take your time, try to enjoy the views and do me a favor as we walk…..start checking out all of the people walking it with us. What you will see is every single shape and size. You will see young, old, fit, not fit…you will see people really struggling and some people running. But the one thing in common is, almost every single one, makes it to the top. You are in charge of your body, you get to decide how far you go. But, I KNOW you can do it.”
He was ready again, so we started off. This time he was smiling at people as they went by. Pointing out the pretty views, the cool looking dogs and how happy people looked as they were going back down the mountain.
The last 1/8th of a mile is the hardest…in my opinion. The well made trail kind of disappears, it’s mostly rocks to climb around and it’s steeper (or at least it feels like it). I was hurting, but moving.
My kid though, was gone. He could see that finish line and he couldn’t wait to cross it. He was running. He passed everyone in our group and proclaimed “last one to the top is a rotten egg!”
Taking it all in
He was so incredibly proud of himself and was taking it all in. He borrowed my phone to take pictures and as we started walking back down the mountain he would cheer people on that were climbing up it. “ Don’t worry guys, you’re almost there. Just a bit further. You got this.”
Then we started jogging back down the trail.
The drive home my kiddo thanked me for taking him and for reminding him what his body was capable of doing. He was so thrilled, that he asked if he could come along on the next hike, wherever I go.
He didn’t once mention mom had been the rotten egg.
Picture taken by my oldest