One more step, just past that next light post, just under the bridge, you can make it. These are all thoughts that I tell myself while out running, just trying to add strength to my legs and fresh air in my lungs. As refreshing as that sounds for some is a feat for me with every step. The pain becomes a little less each time and endurance is increased with each morning of huffing and puffing.

Endurance means many different things to many different people for some its enduring 26.2 miles; for a few its spending many days on a cold mountain, traversing dicey routes to reach a goal, for others it’s surviving eight hours at a job they dislike. I personally try and look towards endurance as a challenge that I accept with open arms rather than distaste and disdain. Some of the most impactful experiences I’ve had have been challenges that have lasted an extended period of time and had many twists and turns.

Countless people start out on new journeys each day. Setting out to impact their lives for the best future they can imagine for themselves. Some of my personal favorite journeys that have been incredibly impactful on my life have happened in the mountains with friends and family. One such memory is a trip I took with my uncle through the High Uinta wilderness in Utah a few years back.

We took a trip around the Red Castle loop, covering around thirty miles in two nights and three days. We started off at a great pace, enjoying the scenery and what seemed like the endless cloud art that rolled over our heads. A little under five miles in my body started to demand we stop and call in quits. I knew my body was strong enough for the long haul with fifty pounds of gear and food on my back. I just needed to remind myself that my body was fine and my mental state needed to understand the journey ahead would be a challenge worth accepting each mile we hiked.

In the end, both my uncle and I struggled a through the pain, fished in lakes few do, saw firsthand views that few have, and agreed that the discomfort was worth the reward of trekking that loop. It just takes a minute to reset your mindset that endurance although painful is worth it.