This is gonna be a long one, but it's a meaningful entry, so if you make it all the way through, thanks:)
Well, my weekend away was great! I feel really good, mentally and physically. Without going into the whole long details of the trip, I want to highlight a few parts.
The first being that I hiked for about 4 hours on Saturday, and maybe 2 total today. It was a lot of hiking! We had crazy inclines for a lot of it, and I was winded like mad, but I made it. I was hiking w/two other girls, one who's about 100 pounds, and one who's about 150.... so I was carrying around at least double what they are. But, I kept up. Proud moment right there. There were a couple of times I wanted to give up... but I didn't.
The first time was when we were in the bottom of this canyon. The trail takes you through the bottom of the canyon, which has a waterway through it... a little creek/stream. When the water's high, you wouldn't be able to get through this way, but when the water is lower, like at this time of year, you can go that way. However, there are not always easy pathways to walk. There's still water, but maybe ankle-knee deep in some parts. There are some edges along the bank that you can walk on at times, then at other times, you have to balance on whatever random rocks are nearby that can act as a stepping stone. When the girls told me we needed to go through the canyon to get to where we were going, I thought they were crazy. I didn't even think I could make it across the 4 stepping stones to get our journey started. They seemed to breeze right across it, as did everyone else I saw do it... but I was terrified. I was worried that the rocks would sink in with my weight, or else they would slip & topple over & I'd fall in the water. Granted, the water wasn't that deep, but it still spelled f-a-i-l-u-r-e to me. Well, they encouraged me, and I made it across the 4 simple stepping stones. For awhile it was smooth sailing, walked along the banks, had maybe 1 stepping stone at a time that we'd have to use... all was well. Until we got to one part. The only option was to walk across using about 15-20 stepping stones, through the water. There was no bank to walk on, nothing... it was these tiny foot-sized rocks, or else turn around. And they weren't right in a row either, you had kind of leap to them at times.... and when rocks are wet, they are slippery!
I knew that my fear was a mental one, and I knew that if I was going to do this, I needed to go first. In my mind, if the other girls made it across, it was because they were light-weight, skinny things, that could just easily get through this task. I know that isn't necessarily the case, but that's what my mind was telling me... I thought that if I went first, I would have noone to compare it to. If someone else had just breezed right through it & made it look easy, I would have felt really down on myself if it wasn't that easy for me. So.... I told them I wanted to go first. I was terrified. It wouldn't have been that big of a deal to fall in the water... like I said, it wasn't very deep... it would have been cold is all... but to me, falling was failure. I never EVER would have done something like this before. If I'd gotten to that point in the trail, I would have said "well, I guess it's time to turn around". So getting past this feat was something huge that I needed to do. It took me awhile, and it wasn't easy. Several rocks were wobbly, and I had to hold my body so stiff to balance.... but slowly, I made my way across the water. I'd say it was maybe 30-40 yards?
I DID IT.
I had such an adrenaline rush after that, I felt like I could do ANYTHING. I wanted to cry, I was so excited. In my head, while I was doing it, I just kept saying "you can do this, you can do this... pretend like this is a Biggest Loser challenge... you can do this". And I did. And just like on the BL, winning isn't always the most important thing... finishing is.
After that feat, we got out of the canyon and had a bit more hiking, mostly at a very steep incline. Eventually, our hike took us back down to the canyon to explore, then it was getting dark, so we knew we needed to get back to the top of the canyon. And there was only one way to do that.
They have these wooden staircases built throughout the park so that you can get to the many levels of trails... and we were at the lowest point & needed to get to the highest.... which was hundreds of feet above us.... once again, I thought there was NO WAY I could possibly make it up all those stairs. At all.
But, we started out... I counted... and after 150, I lost count, but my guess is that there were probably about 50 more after that. So I climbed 200 stairs in a row, and I survived. My legs felt like jelly, and after about half the stairs, I didn't think there was any way I could carry my 300+ pound body up any more stairs.... but I did. I had the strength that I didn't know I had.
Was I exhausted after all that? Absolutely.
But more importantly, I was proud of myself, I had more confidence in my abilities, and I felt like I'd really accomplished great things & pushed myself farther than I ever had before.