I don’t really know what to write about. There are a lot of things I wish I could tell you, but unfortunately I can’t. Instead, I will write about hiking and confidence. Apparently, I doknow what to write about.
My grandmother once told me that confidence is built, which makes sense to me in the same way that trust is built.
Yesterday I went on a hike with my cousin who said rather nonchalantly that, “there would be some rock scrambling.” In his defense, I did ask for a challenge, but I really had no idea what I was getting myself into.
I walked into that canyon like it was going to be so easy, and I came back out feeling much more aware of the term “hiking,” which as it turns out is notjust a fancy word for “walking.” I had some fatigue/heat stroke because Las Vegas is so hot it almost seems less natural that we don’tpass out.
At the end of the canyon there was this beautiful wall where normally ice melt flows from. Because I don’t know if you know this, but Las Vegas is hot. It’s a desert. It’s the kind of place that makes you wonder how people survived before air conditioning.
Here are some of the thoughts I had while hiking and while chatting with my cousin along the way:
1. If I had been that guy from 127 hours, I would have died. No way could I cut my arm off.
2. I would die in the wilderness because I would eat every plant and something would be poisonous.
3. If ever lost in the desert, I would complain so much. I would also not want to share my water or food with anyone.
4. Wow, I’m a very selfish human being.
5. SOME ROCK SCRAMBLING?! JOHN, THESE ARE ALL ROCKS WHERE IS THE PATH IS THERE A PATH?!
Given all of my ludicrous thoughts, I also thought a lot about the mountains around us. They were so beautiful, but also so terrifying. I don’t understand those songs about “moving mountains” because that’s the thing – you can’tmove mountains. You can only move yourself.
I remember laying on a rock in the canyon thinking, “if I really was stuck out here, I wouldn’t think this was beautiful anymore. I would think it’s horrifying. I would feel too small, and too weak, and not able too get back out.” I would resent the mountains for just standing there, not helping me. I would be in pain, frustrated, angry – and the mountains would still be immovable.
I think that’s how we start to feel when we lose our confidence. Small. Insignificant. Stuck in a canyon. Like the world is too big, and the beautiful parts aren’t beautiful enough to wash out the despair.
When I was feeling like I was going to pass out and also being dramatic about it, I kept focusing on whatever rock was in front of me. One rock to the next. And whenever I could, I’d follow John’s feet exactly so I wouldn’t have to think about where I’d have to step. It never worked for very long though because I inevitably made a different choice.
If we take it one rock at a time, confidence will come. But even more than that, sometimes we have to ignore the mountains. They seem to have it so easy don’t they? They get to stand tall and be beautiful and unshakeable, and we have to crawl through them and try to feel good about it. There are always going to be people who are better than you and me at something – not everything…
maybe everything – but most likely just a few things. But just because you’re stuck in their shadow for a time doesn’t mean you always will be.
The sun will move and suddenly you’ll be standing in the light. And you’ll realize it wasn’t really about them. It was you, continuing to move, that got you to the light.
I have a lot more hiking metaphors because now that I’ve hiked all of one time, I’m basically a professional. Don’t worry, I’ll save them for a rocky day.
Get it? Rock on friend.