Thud, thud, thud my feet fell on the hot ground as I continued, one stride at a time, down the ~8 mile descent. I looked like living tomato and felt like a roasted one! It was in the upper 90’s at about 1:30pm with little to no wind. I kept repeating, “He can do it, that means I can”.
There was no one pushing me, no coach telling me to dig deeper, no wings on my shoes that made me fly (that would have been awesome though). It was just me and the constant thud of my feet. Interjection- I say “thud" because I'm just not a graceful butterfly and thats really how my feet sound, I have a solid stance you could say! During the 32 mile Bighorn Trail run I had to tap into the mental strength in order to finish. I believe that we should do the physically challenging things for the mental benefit. I had heard from a lot of people the last half is just mental, its all in your head. So when I was feeling quite pewneuy I thought alright its all in my head, hence my mantra “He can do it, that means I can” (He- being my savior Jesus Christ, he kinda created the whole world, kinda a big deal). I think that sometimes our minds forget what we are capable of and a good, tough physical challenge will jolt you back into the mindset of I can do more.
Our body’s, if you think about it, are just carriers for our mind so why not make your ride a lamborgini? Why not do your best to keep the body healthy for your minds sake? Everyone has there own definition of challenge and physical activities they prefer, but choose something. Pick a feat that is both challenging and interesting to you! Probably not the best idea to set the goal of Everest in a month if you’ve never walked a mile. Be realistic but aim higher than the couch. For myself, hand eye coordination is not really happening so I choose running. I consider it exploring because, you can run anywhere and see some country you never would otherwise.
Give yourself grace too. Earlier this year my brother Pine and I attempted to summit Pico de Orizaba in Puebla, Mexico. It is the highest hike-able volcano on the North American continent, us Watt’s are not mountain climbers. We didn’t summit due to the wind scaring the living daylights out of me, but I still walked away with something; an experience that took most of my physical and pretty much all my mental strength to make it up and down safely. Pine and I had to stay strong mentally to encourage each other, make sure each one of us was not experiencing altitude sickness, and well to climb through the darkness with ice picks and freezing toes. So we didn’t reach the summit, but perfection wasn’t our goal, doing something was. I love the line from Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly, “Perfection is the enemy of done”.
There you have it, my deep thoughts during a 7 hour of fast/run/hike on a Saturday in the sunny mountains of Wyoming. Challenge yourself physically and reap the mental rewards. Give yourself some grace remembering, perfection is just not gonna happen. “Theres a crack in everything, thats how the light gets in”-Leonard Cohen. Leave room for the big guy in the sky to fill those cracks.