“the Grassi Lakes hike is easy”, they said.
“it’ll be fun”, they said.
If climbing a skating rink sounds easy to you, then yes. It was totally easy. And super fun.
So last week I took myself out to the mountains for a couple days over my Spring Break. I found myself on what is considered an “easy” hike that was anything but easy. It was so insanely icy that I spent most of the way up scrambling through the trees just so I could get my footing. This turned it into a much more physically demanding endeavour…jumping over mud patches, dodging tree branches, in a crazy up and down zig zag on and off a treacherous path.
About two minutes in I wanted to turn right around, get back in my car, and hit main street Canmore for some retail therapy. But…I told myself I would hike…so…there I was. What could I do? Certainly not turn around.
I began on the trail…like you do…and after a few minutes realized that I would not make it to the lakes if I continued on that path. So I moved off the trail and into the trees. Good idea, right?
Unstable, uneven ground…rocks, shrubs, trees, roots, huge patches of mud, rapid changes in incline…ugh. Maybe not the best plan. But what could I do??? CERTAINLY NOT TURN AROUND. DAMN IT.
It did not take long for me to notice all the parallels between this hike and life. So, you make a plan for, say…going for a hike….or recording an album. You know, either one. Or basically ANYTHING ELSE in this life. You have a pretty good idea of what this entails. You look it up on the internet. You read stuff. You know.
Except that you don’t know.
You don’t know how hard it will be, how draining it will be, how it will make you question yourself, how it will plague you with doubt about EVERYTHING, how you’ll ask yourself “what the hell am I doing????” over and over…
Wait…what are we talking about? Oh. Hiking. Right.
I think the only reason I didn’t turn around on my hike was sheer stubbornness. I was alone, so there was no one else there to pressure me to keep going, or pressure me to quit. But I told myself I would do it. So I had to do it.
I’m sure this all sounds a tad melodramatic, and maybe it is. But, it really was crazy how much these few hours mirrored so many of the things I have been wrestling with lately. That is probably part of why I kept going too….it felt…symbolic.
I persevered. I kept going. The Lord and I had some words. And then…
I made it. And it really was beautiful.
Plus…the water matched my hair. Like, perfectly.