My Personal Everest

My yearly trip to the Adirondacks is usually with my mom. Usually, I struggle to keep up with her experience and expertise on the hike and just dream of when it’s all over and I can enjoy the warm eats and margaritas in local Lake Placid. At first, I really couldn’t understand the appeal of hiking all day – putting my body through such pain just for bragging rights and a view. I only went to hang out with my mom and hit the shoe sales in the U.S.

But this year my adventurer mom had dreams of bigger mountains and has headed to Nepal and so our trip together wasn’t going to happen. I didn’t think I would care about missing her special brand of torture…but I did.

Just before we lost our cabin reservation, something inside me spoke up and urged me to get my butt to the mountains any way I could. I put out the call and found someone who was also crazy enough to put her body through a weekend of hiking and roughing it at the chilly end of season. Surprisingly, such a person exists and so we set off.

My mom left me all her maps and instructions but I still got pathetically lost. Even though I’ve been there countless times, I had never driven there myself, which made everything seem like a foreign land. I felt so stupid and ridiculous like my mom was still kicking my butt at this trip from thousands of miles away!

The first morning I couldn’t light the stove and we had to eat breakfast at a diner in town. Then we misread the map and couldn’t find the trail we wanted for almost an hour. Because of our late start we even had to cut our hike short so we weren’t hiking back at night, like I didn’t feel enough in the dark already. Frustrated, I almost wanted to shout from the mountain top, “I want my mom!”

By the second day, though, everything sort of snapped into place and I started to recognize things. I lit the stove and made breakfast easily. We mapped out our hike early and found the trail. I even felt confident enough to go off-trail to get my dog over some huge rock walls.

No offense to my mom, but it was actually one of the greatest times I’ve spent there. The sense of achievement really set in and I actually “got” the hiking part. The exertion was wonderful and the view was somehow more beautiful than ever.

I think I just needed to do it on my own. Now that I have, I feel like I’ll love it forever – with and without my mom. I still owe it to her for getting me started but I guess that’s true of all things in life. You might need a push to do something that maybe you won’t really like at first, but you could be surprised with how much you could fall in love with it in the end.

Stay open to new ideas and experiences and you may surprise yourself!

I’d love to hear if you’ve had a similar experience. What did you try on a whim but now can’t live without? Leave a comment or send me your story!

ashewoodz@gmail.com

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