“Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Christopher Robin
Yesterday morning I woke up with nature right outside my zipped door. I was able to let Chevy outside without having to get out of bed. It was beautiful. And yet my waking thoughts did not match my surroundings. The blob told me I was unloved, no one really cares whether I live or die, no one is going to miss you because they clearly don’t miss you now else they’d check on you, etc. We set our intention for the day as soon as we wake up. I laid there sensing while Chevy explored nearby; the smell of fall, the color of the leaves on the ground, the bare trees allowing me to see far, the feel of the cool air after it had rained all night, the stillness.
After breakfast Chevy and I climbed Old Rag with two friends. As we went up, I worked things out in my head, letting the motions of my body and the serenity of nature assist me in working through my shit. The fog enveloped us, a perfect day for the state of my mind. About two miles from the top there is lots of rock scrambling which requires you to use all your muscles to hoist yourself over rocks, crawl under them, squeeze into some tight spaces, drop six feet and jump over crevices. It’s a total blast.
Two years ago I did the same hike and much of that rock scramble scared me. It was my first official climb up a mountain and we did it in early February when there was a lot of ice in parts which made for a lot of giggling as we gave new meaning to the phrase rock slide.
At some point near the summit yesterday it dawned on me: I was completely confident in my footing and in myself. I wasn’t scared at all of the rock scramble piece like I remember being two years ago. Chevy and I looked out for each other, our friends assisted in lifting him up and over some key points, and we made it all the way to the top without incident. By the time we reached the summit, confidence had pushed the blob further into the corner.
This climb reminded me I’m stronger than I was two years ago both physically and mentally. I was reminded how far I’ve come, that I have a reason to be proud. I’ve since summited many mountains, become a trail runner and ultra runner. The dirt is now an extension of myself. I am not afraid out there in the middle of no where. In fact, it’s the one place I feel most like myself. Each time I climb or run in the woods I shed some of my past and step into my future. Outside in nature amidst the trees I am free.
And I find myself out there in the place that breathes life into us all.