“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.”
Up one hill, down another, up again, so much that I had to stop to catch my breath. Then down, down, down, sometimes tip-toeing, sometimes sliding, sometimes going “Slow-Motion”, but I did get up and down the mountain, well one of the mountains at Hickory Run State Park during my four-hour hike last Sunday.
There’s several trails that I wanted to take, but I when drove with my GPS on my phone, I arrived at the wrong side of the park from where the trail I had wanted to take was, and realized that if I wanted to get in a hike, I needed to start hiking. So I picked the closest trail, which turned out to be Hickory Run and the Fireline Trail. The description below might have stopped me in the past, but now, I’ve gotten some experienced hiking in the last few months on my own and with others, so I knew I was up for the task.
Fireline Trail – 2.4 miles, most difficult, cross-country skiing
Scenic, but sections of the trail are open, steep and rocky making for challenging hiking, especially in the heat of summer. Along this trail watch for songbirds including prairie warblers and eastern bluebirds, and hawks.
Even knowing that I’d prepared by wearing a few layers, bringing gloves, a hat, and a hydration water backpack, I was struggling to enjoy the hills. I hit a few spots of muddy sections, and started to get a bit grumpy. I stopped and asked myself to remember how awesome it is to be out here hiking, and I kept going. And it got harder, and harder. But by the time I got to this view up on the hill, it was so worth it. After I got to the joining path, I wanted to continue down a trail and at some point, lost the trail. I somehow thought it would be a good idea to climb across a tree that was laying above a stream, and once on the other side, I climbed up the hill, nearly sliding back down. All of this work because I thought there was a better view on the other side. There wasn’t. I had the best view on the side I started, and the sun was going down, and I couldn’t seem to cross the stream or find my way back over the tree, so I just put my boots in the stream and hiked back to my car in soaking wet socks and boots. So…. better to be persistent but also realize when I’ve won, and be thankful. HA!~
When I was looking out while catching my breath, I took notice to the silence, the peace, and calm that existed in that place. It was also that moment when I realized that I can do hard things. Sometimes I put limitations on what I’m able to do, but I continue to amaze myself at what I’m able to accomplish. As this year ends, and a new one begins, I realized just how possible things are, if I open my mind to possibilities, and if I’m persistent.