Dreaded is a trail in our local wilderness. It is a long trail filled with steep hills going up and going down, rough terrain, winding paths, very narrow areas and is named DREADED for a reason. Because it is in the wilderness, it has all that wilderness has to offer including the occasional wild animal but this past early Sunday morning was more about the heavy fog than the animals.
Being that my friend Amy & I were being fraddy-cats about the fog, it made DREADED a personal arm wrestle for both of us. "Do we go", do we not ?", "is it safe with all the fog, is it not ?" Fear tried to creep in and take over but we compromised with "let's just go and see" and "if its too heavy we will leave" and we went for it.
Just like life. We cannot let fear stand in our way or let it make decisions for us.
See the thing is, DREADED is hard and difficult at times, you are not real sure what the next turn will lead to and sometimes so you have to slow your pace to catch your breath. It is okay to stop BUT then you must keep going. Just like life. It is okay to stop, in fact, when you have to catch your breath, YOU HAVE TO STOP.Now, for at least my friends & I (BECAUSE YOU DON'T DO THESE THINGS ALONE), we hike in about a mile just chit chatting & blah blah blahing but once we hit the base of Dreaded, we say our goodbyes, put in the earphones, turn on the music and say "see ya at the top."
Sunday, we got to this point and decided, it was a go..
The first 8 minutes for me is the hardest but between the music in my ears, the cool air and the surroundings, I find myself in a zone and although it is tough, it is worth it.
and 9 times out of 10, I come home with a souvenir from the hike to the top. I was really hoping that as we were nearing the top we would get past the fog. The sun was really trying to break through but now, as I look at this photo of the cactus on the bottom, fog and grey in-between and the suns powerful strength really trying to break through, I thought it was a great metaphor for not only the hike, but for life.Sure enough, as we rounded the last bend and faced the last hill, there was a tiny glimpse of sunlight. Just like life. You have to push through the dark to get to the light.
DREADED isn't just difficult rocky, steep, winding trails, it is also full of beauty and you start to recognize that the struggle was worth it. The beginning is uphill, dry and dusty and sometimes very rocky and then as you follow through to the end, it totally changes. Getting past the fear and going through the struggle helps you absorb the beauty and little things in life that you might have missed had you let your fears control your thoughts. When that happens, you miss the beauty that is right in front of you.