Hi Friends! This week’s Wednesday Wisdom made the rounds by email and I wanted to be sure that everyone saw it – very powerful words by Brian Knight about not giving up! One of my best friends and I hiked to a pair of stunning alpine lakes in Colorado last weekend. The kind you see in pictures and think, “That’s not real.”
We covered 18 miles and 2,500 ft of elevation in just over 8 hours. Lush valleys. Raging cascading waterfalls. Fragrant wildflowers. Towering mountain peaks. The experience was worth every ache my legs still feel as I type this.
The main attraction was the alpine lakes, 7.3 miles from the trailhead. We planned to hike up to the lakes, eat and rest, then hike back down.
Four miles in, we were feeling great. The route was relatively flat. The scenery spectacular. Six miles in, we were working harder but still charging hard. We began climbing in elevation, spurred on by the anticipation of reaching our goal.
By the time we hit 8 miles, our legs smoked, lungs burned, bodies needed food, and our minds fixated on one thing: how much further were these lakes?!
We were supposed to reach them at 7.3 miles. We were already at 8 miles with no lakes in sight. We pressed on through the forest, over giant boulders, across a river, and through a clearing until we finally slid between a few trees and saw the sun’s shimmering reflection bouncing off the lake. Victory. Sweet, sweet victory.
But, as I said, there were two lakes. We admired the first for a few minutes before continuing to the upper lake, about another half-mile up. We sat and enjoyed lunch in what felt like a giant crater rimmed by sharp stony mountains surrounding us like tidal waves, only seeing a few people over the next hour.
As we soaked in the moment, my friend admitted, “Not gonna lie. At mile 8, I said to myself, ‘If we don’t reach these lakes by mile 9, I’m not sure I’m gonna go any further.'”
“Those last 2 miles were rough. Really tested me.”, I agreed. “I guess that’s why not many people make it up here. It starts easy, fun, and beautiful. Then it punched us in the face. We had to fight mentally and physically to earn this. It’s always darkest before dawn, right?”
“No doubt. So true.”
We didn’t say a word for the next 15 minutes. Our surroundings said it all.
There’s always a late test. A final trial. A last-minute unknown that demands more from you when you don’t think you can do any more or go any further.
But you can. You have more in you. Another step. Another mile. Another 100 miles if you must. Your quitting voice tells you it’s not supposed to be this hard or take this long. Your disciplined voice tells you it’s not supposed to be anything. Do what it takes to get it done.
Don’t let the quitting voice win because the path didn’t follow your expectation. See it through, even when it seems darkest. You’ll have to if you want to reach your destination.