I climbed a mountain the other day. No, I’m not talking figuratively about some other hurdle in my life. I legit climbed Old Rag Mountain in Virginia. I know it’s not a huge mountain compared to other places across the country that you may have been on but for me, this was huge.
It all started when one of my friends suggested it and then promised us ice cream if we went. I’m not a hiking person. I’ve gone on a few hikes and while they are ok, it’s really not on my list of things I am always up here. I like being active but honestly hiking is just one of those activities I’ll get really excited for. Therefore I was quite hesitant in deciding on whether I wanted to go. Finally I caved in and joined my friends on this adventure.
I immediately started to second guess my decision because this meant I had to get up at 6:30 on a Saturday morning. Let’s ignore the fact that I got 3 hours of sleep the night before. But no, it’ll be ok. I mean rock scrambles can’t be that bad right? The road trip wasn’t too bad and we get there in less than 2 hours. There’s quite a few people already at the park which means there are already a ton of people ahead of us on the mountain.
I’d like to point out that I can be fairly clumsy at times. My fear is that I will break my ankle again just from walking. So jumping across rocks? Yeah terrifying.
We decided to go the shorter but more strenuous route up the mountain. This involves a lot of switchbacks and elevation plus all those wonderful rock scrambles. Hiking up isn’t too hard though I have to stop a few times to catch my breath. I’m sorry I’m not one of those really super fit people who could run up this mountain and never break into a sweat. The worst part though actually is the fact that we thought we were getting closer to the summit but it kept being much further away.
The rock scrambles were intimidating at first and there were times when I thought how the hell am I supposed to do this? But other hikers were glad to help out and I got through every one of them. There’s a lot of climbing and pulling and squeezing into cracks. Also you have to psych yourself out and just don’t let fear get to you.
The thing though that really helped me throughout the entire hike was the fact at how much it helped me keep my mind off things. Right now I’m struggling inwardly with a lot of things and the hike was a great way to help me focus on something else. It was like God answered my prayer of clearing my head away of all the worries and troubles I’m having. Because you can’t focus on that when you’re trying to figure out how not to fall on your face and off the mountain.
The hike was also mirrored a lot of what I’ve gone through in my life. I honestly am proud of myself for climbing the entire thing up and down because I didn’t think I could do it. I got angry during it. I nearly wanted to give up several times. I even flicked off the blue paint trails because I was frustrated we weren’t there yet. I began to wonder if it was even worth it.
But I kept going (mainly because I didn’t want to get stuck on the mountain) and yes, when we reached the summit, the views were worth it. And I could say that I did it.
And it doesn’t matter right now what anyone else thinks of what I did. I know that I’m proud of myself for achieving this. I did things I never thought I would. Sure, some people could and will do it better than I ever could. And sure others will scoff and think it’s nothing. And then the people who I WANT to acknowledge my achievement will never say anything about it. That’s not the end goal though. For me, I’m proud of myself. Hiking the mountain was like physically living out how my life has been over the past few years. And I did it.