Monday, July 2, 2012

when the trail gets steep

Brooke (my amazing niece) has taken on the task of watching three SUPER nice kids this summer while their parents are working. She and I decided that we should take all five kids to hike "The O" this morning. For those of you who don't have hills or mountains where you live, often there are large letters on the side of the hills to make reference to the town or school below. (We had no hills in Memphis where I grew up; only heat and humidity.) The "O" sits high on the hill above OIT, the Oregon Institute of Technology-- where I go to school.


I haven't been to the gym in a month or so (I'll blame summer vacation) so I was thankful for the two boys and the French Bulldog who were lagging behind. My endurance isn't where it needs to be and the trail is pretty steep. As we were huffing and puffing I heard comments like "Mommy it's SO FAR up there" and "LAUREN is already there-- I can't do this!" (Notice that the comments were coming from my kid...) I held my head down and watched as I took each step and the drops of sweat were rolling from my forehead onto the dry cracked ground. As the adult, you have to be stoic even though my own mind was screaming "CAN YOU FEEL OUR CALVES?" 

I finally offered a bit of advice to the boys, "when I'm walking up a steep path, I keep my eyes down and focus on each step I take rather than looking ahead towards my destination." Corbin looked ahead, then at me, and said "why wouldn't you want to see where you're going, Mommy?" And I answered "because when you look ahead the destination can seem so far away and impossible to reach. When you watch your feet, you only have to think about where you're at and focus on finishing one step at a time." 

Following my advice, the three of us fell into a few minutes of silence as we watched our feet and forged ahead. I thought about the advice I had just given the boys-- 

don't focus only on the destination; carefully consider each step you take and eventually you'll reach your goal.

There are so many things in my own life where this advice could apply. I want to be a better person, a better wife, a more active mother, lose more weight, be more spiritual... And I have choices to make: I can glare at my goals and cry about how far away they are, I can lay down on the trail and pound my fists into the dirt and cry about how hot and tired I am, or I can put one foot in front of the other, and through endurance and determination I'll eventually be exactly where I want to be.

Baxter, Lauren, me, Corbin & OIT (in the background)



It's hard to be patient. However, I know that if I remain focused and take one step at a time towards my goal, the effort will only make me stronger and the view is TOTALLY worth it!

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