I look up at the rock face ahead of me. It is steep loose dirt, and looser rocks sit atop the ledges. I draw in a deep breath, feeling nervous, and I ponder the path above me.
There is no “I can’t” or “it’s too hard.” I simply have to do it.
Otherwise, I will be stuck here. My partner-in-climb, Mitchell, is right behind me. My friend Claire is already halfway up.
I feel like throwing up. No one is coming to save me. I can and I must do the hard thing to get to the other side. With my heart pounding in my head, I look for a foothold and hand hold and I haul myself up with everything I’ve got. My foot slips and I momentarily lose my nerve and then I hear this calm, deep voice beneath me. “You’ve got this. Just look for the next handhold. Breathe. You’re not going to fall. Trust your shoes.”
It’s called scrambling for a reason. I hurl myself up the next tiny ledge and look for the next foothold, then the next, the next and the next. And before I know it, I’m looking down at the rock face and marvelling at how I got there. I feel sore but elated and powerful.
Being the one who is Most Unlikely to Climb a Mountain
Now, I don’t know what you’re picturing at this point. If it’s a young, athletic, tanned and thin woman, I’d like to give you a reality check.
I am 51. I am a little overweight. Okay, well, I could stand to lose about 40 pounds more. I am 5 foot 4 and I have ADHD and probably Asperger’s syndrome, but I’ve never been formally diagnosed with that.
So, I am not exactly your typical bush-bashing, mountain scrambler and if you saw me at the local shopping mall with my UGG boots on, you’d probably assume that I lived a cosy, predictable and probably boring life.
Sometimes I wish that were true. My path has definitely been the one less travelled and in this blog I’m going to explore how those experiences have shaped my outlook on life.
What doesn’t break you, makes you
We all face hard things as we navigate life. How we handle them is what makes or breaks us. For some, that hard thing may be facing bullies in the school yard every day. For others, it might be giving birth to twins in the gutter on the streets of Nairobi, Kenya.
Whatever your hard things are, you are not alone. You have everything you need to not only survive the hard things but to harness them and create a life that’s full of wonder, joy and inspiration. Just put one foot in front of the other, breathe and find your hand holds. And remember, we’re with you, cheering you on.
If you want some company as you deal with everything life throws at you, find me and a whole community via 180Selfcare. Start here.