Last week , my family and I went on our annual, long weekend trip to Scottsdale, Arizona.
This trip always means two things for sure, hiking Camelback Mountain and Zipp’s cheese burgers.
Now, Camelback Mountain is approximately 2706 ft. tall and, truthfully, in 15 years, I'd never made it past the saddle on Camelback which is about a mile up the Cholla Trail.
Every year I’ve pushed myself to get to the saddle. Navigating the switchbacks, needing to stop and catch my breath all the while pretending I was stopping to take in the view.
It was hard. My previous fitness training never seemed enough to make it less intimidating.
But, this year, I was determined things were going to be different. I privately think I’m in the best physical shape of my life so far so this year had to to be an easier climb.
So, like always, on the first morning, my son Scout and I set off to climb Camelback Mountain up the Cholla Trail.
And, good news, this time was different.
This time I didn’t need to stop to catch my breath.
We navigated the switchbacks in record time and found ourselves at the saddle.
Ah, the saddle, my top of the mountain. It was safe there.
The saddle is almost to the top I told myself.
Isn’t almost good enough?
Wait? What? Did I just say that? More importantly, did I believe that?
Wow, is almost good enough?
I had an ahha moment right there on the saddle of Camelback Mountain.
I started thinking of how often in my life had I quit at almost. Then I said to myself "Not anymore."
I heard the familiar voice of resistance kick up in my head , "Don't even think about climbing to the top." "The Saddle is your top". “Don’t go any further, you’ve seen people get rescued off the next part of the mountain”.
Then I heard a whisper, my essential self, “You can do hard things” .
So up we went.
“I don’t want to do this.” I said to Scout, on a particularly narrow pass, "One misstep and we will be eating cactus about 15ft down."
"Do you wanna turn around?" Scout asked.
"No , not yet", I grumbled.
Up we went a few more feet.
"I dunno if I can do this", I thought I said it in my head but I must have said it out loud because I heard Scout say “We can turn back, say the word."
“I’ll go a little further.” I answered.
The resistance in my head was screaming “This is too hard for you” and my essential self whispered back , “This is the year you don’t give up” and up I climbed.
Sometimes, our resistance screams so loud it's hard to hear the whispers of our essential self. You gotta listen close.
It was hard.
It was steep.
But I did it.
Up and down the mountain we went, followed by a Scorch Burger and Fries at Zipps. (Yes, even life coaches need rewards)
If you’ve ever settled for almost it's time to try again.
Yes, we can do hard things.
2018 the year we don't give up.