Facing Your Challenges

Have you ever struggled to do something and it’s bothered you so much that you felt you needed to face that challenge again.  Well that recently happened to me, well it has happened multiple times, but the most recent was this past Sunday.  The beginning of the spring I had some minor health issues, nothing too serious, but I had to put my hiking on hold for over a month to get myself better.  After I was medically cleared to hike again.  I did not jump back into hiking like I should have.  I did  a few easy hikes on short trails with minimal elevation.  Due to my daughters activities, home improvement projects and lots of rainy weather, my hiking has been put on the back burner.  

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Last weekend I wanted to do a group hike as I had not done one in a while.  I have been wanting to do Temple Mountain and decided it was a good opportunity to check it out.  Not a big mountain, I would classify it on the easy side of moderate for the Monadnock Area.  Well this hike killed me, ok I may be being a little dramatic, but it felt like it.  I found myself breathing heavier than normal and having to stop a lot more than I use to.  I was embarrassed, along with frustrated with myself. Luckily I only had one other group member in the hike who was very understanding and supportive.  We made it to a small look out, only about three quarters of a mile hike.  The trail does go further, but I decided that with how hard of a time I had, I did not want to push myself.  

Walking down the trail and driving home I could not believe in such a short time I became that out of shape.   I am not in amazing shape, but I could hike a small mountain without much problem. I had another group hike the next night, but it was a much easier hike.  I found myself pushing myself a little harder than I normally do on my group hikes and it felt good.  

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Tonight, we actually had nothing after school and work and with it staying light until after 8pm, I knew I had enough time to face my challenge again.  Since I have such a supportive family my husband and daughter agreed to come with me.  When we got to the trailhead it was raining and I did not care.  My daughter thought it would be fun to hike in the rain, luckily it did not last long.  We started up the trail and I instantly felt better than when I did it two days ago. I was able to walk at an improved pace without having to stop as much, I was not breathing as heavy and my face was not as red.  I was also able to get up to the lookout five minutes quicker than I did on Sunday.  

As I walked down the trail I felt good about myself. I do not know if I was in a better frame of mind, more determined or just slowly getting back into shape, but it felt good to conquer my challenge.  This was also a good teaching moment for my daughter to know the importance of challenging yourself and when you feel defeated to not give up.  No matter what your challenge is face it head on, you can do it, even if you have to attempt it many times.  This personal challenge in motivating me to make sure I get out on the trail a couple times a week to keep myself in shape for hiking.   

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