Saturday, December 24, 2016

Then, suddenly, I looked up...

Photo Credit: Marie Rote*

The attainment of any big goal or proud accomplishment requires a laser-sharp focus of time, attention, and energy. Those of us with athletic pursuits know this, and we are very good at eliminating distractions so we can stay our charted courses.

But life is full of distractions, and sometimes the difference between a laser-sharp focus and a moment of lapsed attention is a glorious sunset on a Winter's Solstice evening. Remember that as you plow through your life.

The goals are just stopping off points; the real journey is the places in between.

*Who very wisely rode outside in pursuit of a 6000 mile goal for 2016. And then very wisely stopped to take this photo.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Canyon Life, Metaphorically Speaking

It starts off with a mix of excitement and apprehension. You approach it with wide-eyed wonder and an open heart, ready to accept whatever it brings.

Those first tentative steps into an unknown future become more steady as you find your own rhythm.

Sometimes the road ahead seems too hard, the uphill struggles insurmountable. But you get through it, one step at a time. Maybe taking a break to regroup before pushing forward, sometimes just motoring through.

Sometimes you can't see the way ahead of you, but you simply trust yourself and the trail that you're on. And at every step along the way, there is beauty to behold. If you remember to stop and look,  you'll see that the world changes with every footfall.

You realize that you're not the first person to ever travel this road, and you won't be the last. So you honor those who were here before you, and those who will follow. There is reverence in this journey.

Sometimes you walk with friends, and sometimes you find yourself walking with strangers. At times, you're all by yourself. Sometimes, you travel the same road with the same people, and those are the ones you know are with you for the entire journey.

You get to the end of the trail and you look back over where you've been, and what you had to do to get here. And it's beautiful.

Isn't that exactly the way life should be?

The Tip-Off, on the South Kaibab Trail. This is where the plateau drops into the Inner Gorge.

This was the third time Dave M hiked this trail with me. He lives in the UK.
And Jackie? This is the 6th time we've hiked to Phantom Ranch together. We will have many more adventures together in the future. 

The view of the Colorado River, from the Black Bridge

Nearing the South Rim, on the Bright Angel Trail

I like to hang over the edge of cliffs.

Surreal sunset
Dave, Brian, Jackie, and me at Skeleton Point

To see more photos from this trip, click here.