This picture was taken at the end of my adventure day on Thursday... I was watching my favorite humans (Luke & James) swim and splash in the lake... being gently kissed by the sun... it was a moment of release for me.
The 7 mile hike, pretty much kicked my ass... but so many less ones learned throughout the whole experience.
The day began with strength, as I set a personal boundary with a relationship... and continued on to an adventure and harnessing my free spirit nature. Just going with the flow. But I was super ill prepared for how the day would unfold. It was hot - like super hot. (Heat advisory of 105 degrees was issued 🙄)
16oz of Water and 32oz of Gatorade... NOT ENOUGH! For a trial that we had no idea the length of and for the temp we were hiking in.
Luke and James are MUCH taller then me, so their strides are much more productive then mine, and I was in the back. I kept saying “slow down”, “you’re missing it”... I wanted to take it ALL in, they wanted to get to a destination... we all learned a little bit that day 🥰
See, the 3 of us are very different humans. All fiercely independent in our own ways, but when put together - we are a an unstoppable force of amazing strength and courage and encouragement.
We meandered through the green desert... while I made snarky remarks about my #1 requirement - forest! They laughed at me and encouraged me to carry on, one foot in front of the other. Taking in the sites, sounds, smells. When we happened upon a break in the trail.
3 paths, all unknown destinations, all unknown lengths. 2 were obviously more traveled and when the question was posed “which one?” I, without any sort of hesitation said the less traveled! To which Luke and I immediately began a half ass rendering of Robert Frosts “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the less traveled traveled by, and that has made all the difference”. None of us realizing just how profound that small verse would become to our day.
We finally found a forest, and brush that was taller then me! Chiggers, yellow jackets, killer lizards, bees, fire ants, etc... each new challenge pulled strengths from deep within us.
At the end of the trial, we found a glorious cave... and the temperature dropped by 10 degrees. We laughed and talked about all the growth we each had experienced over the last year. And then we proceeded to hike back to the car, a wrong turn that added a few extra steps (1/4 mile) but was fine. The jokes and revelations continued to flow as we made our way back to the trail head... until the worse possible outcome happened.
I all of a sudden was cold and started shivering. 2 miles left to hike, there was nothing left to drink, and the constant tree coverage was now gone... we were back in the green desert. Nothing was beautiful anymore. I was cranky. I was falling way behind. My heart rate began to race. I stopped sweating. My mouth was dry. I was in an emergent and dire state.
With out any discussion at all, Luke fell behind me, James led the way - making jokes to keep me in the moment. It was long, and it was so much work. But together as a team we made it.
And that is when I learned the most important lesson of the day...
I could not have done it alone. It is not a weakness to accept help from those that truly have your best interest in mind.