When you walk, and let’s say you end up walking through some mud, and also let’s say that your foot gets stuck in the puddle of mud that you inadvertently walked through (it appears you were not paying much attention when you started on your walk), it makes the walk that much more difficult. With your foot lodged in the mud, it is hard to get your foot free. When you finally get your foot free, you have an abundance of thick, heavy mud left on your foot and this adds considerable weight to your journey.
This analogy came to mind when I was on a 7AM hike this morning with a group that I am part of (Social Thread https://socialthread.org/ ) at Lost Dog Trail in Scottsdale. The hike had been on the calendar for several weeks and as we quickly approached the date, I began to wiggle. The hike was scheduled to start at 7 am, and I did not want to be late (again), our commute would require us to leave at 630 AM which means I needed to realistically be up at 530 AM in order to wake up, eat, prepare my pack and dress. Did I forget to mention that the southwest has been experiencing uncommon cold temps as well?
The angst I was feeling about the hike had nothing to do with the weather. The temps in the 30’s or the 40s did not phase me. I would just bundle up and once I got moving, I would warm up in a jiffy. I was stressing over waking up sooo very early in the morning as during the week I was struggling with a 730AM wake up/crawl out of bed, get ready and out the door by 9 AM for work. But, what was really beneath the surface was what I had been hiding. And that goes back to the analogy. I have been walking around with an awful lot of mud affixed to my boots lately and I have been trying to hide it, and a 7 AM hike, on a cold bitter morning is certainly the thing that will bring out the best and worst of you. It was time to look this depression eye to eye, and get a hold of what had been controlling me.
I was at the back of the pack, and that was perfect. As this meant that I was not holding any one up and I was able to argue with myself, I mean encourage myself, through each and every step that I took on the approximately 3 mile hike (I think it was 2.7 miles, but I am not 100% sure). My legs were heavy. My feet felt like there was lead attached to them. My body felt like I was carrying a ton of bricks. I questioned why I was not home in bed, beneath my warm layers of blankets, dreaming of unicorns and rainbow colored kitties. I kept reminding myself that the people in my support team had all, yup all, encouraged me to start exercising again. To get out in the sunshine, to be outside. To get moving. And on this early Saturday morning, I was doing just that. I was also being a person of my word and I was sticking to the commitment that I had made.
I feel like my commitment was rewarded with by far the most beautiful sunrise I have seen. This is not saying much because since I am no morning person, I have not seen very many sunrises, but today’s sights had my eyes bugging out of my head and had me tripping over rocks.
I had a victory today. With such an early start I will most likely take a nap later, but I set a goal and I achieved it. I overcame a large hurdle that had been telling me that I was incapable of achieving the goals that I was afraid to make. The next set of goals is to get back into the gym. The place where there will be strangers and sweat and such. But a place of wellness and healing as well. I am kicking the mud off my shoes. Hell, maybe I will just go buy new shoes (metaphorically), you know ones that have never been in mud, and start on this new journey as this is a new year.
Photo Credit: D.E. Wasson