A few years ago, partway through a 15-day backpacking trip on the John Muir Trail in California, my feet hurt, my backpack felt like a rhinoceros on my back and all I wanted to do was lay down on the nearest rock and fall asleep.
Why in the world had I set out to hike roughly 200 miles through the Sierra Nevada mountains, eating dehydrated meals and wearing the same set of clothing day after day?
I wanted to bail out.
That’s when my husband pointed way down the trail, to a glimmering dime of water far below. That’s where we’d camped the previous night, he pointed out. I’d started there that morning, but look how far I’d come in three or four hours.
Something clicked in my mind. I gnawed on a hunk of beef jerky and sipped a little water I’d filtered from a stream as I turned that thought over in my head.
I would darn well keep walking, all the way to the end of the trail on the other side of Mount Whitney.
I did it, too, and that cheeseburger at the end tasted better than anything I’ve ever sunk my teeth into because I worked hard to get it.
That experience stuck in my brain, and I’ve carried it with me ever since.
It’s kept me outside, seeking adventure, finding the joy in the rugged path along the way. It taught me that when something feels impossible, I can keep moving, even if it feels like elephants are dancing on my toes.
Get outside, people. Explore your world. Find adventure in everything.
And if you need a little inspiration, follow my blog to get it.