Descending from the Summit: Final Thoughts on Timpanogos.

While sitting on the top of the mountain I felt alive and accomplished, I had made it to the top and nothing had stopped me. I had worked through doubt, tired muscles, and a small bit of pain but I was her and nothing else mattered. We spent around 15 minutes on the summit before we began our journey back to the car. As many know the ascent is only half the journey, you have to make it back to the car and back home. So we began heading back down the mountain talking about the epic meal we were going to eat once we arrived back home. 

As we walked we passed people who were on their way up, they looked tired, with doubt in the eyes of some and a fire in the eyes of others. Had I looked that way? Could you see my discomfort on my face just an hour before as I trudged my way up to the summit? I believe so, because that was a challenge for me to complete. Yet, I had made it and now was on my way down so I was in better spirits trying to send encouragement and a smile to those going up because I felt that anyone could summit at this point. 

What is always interesting to me about any descent is how often I seem to slip or stumble. Sometimes it’s because my tired feet don’t move as they ought to be and other times I just don’t choose the best place to step. On the way down my friend and I both stumbled and slid about because the trail down seemed a bit more slippery than the trail on the way up. I have hope that others besides me experience this a little here and there. I also think that it makes the journey back to the car a bit more enjoyable or unpredictable for tired bodies and minds. 

Our dogs did extremely well on this hike, they kept going and never failed to find fun along the trail. They helped us to laugh when we needed it, and made friends all along the way with other hikers. Time spent outdoors is only enhanced by dogs and their personalities to me, ever since my dog started joining me on hikes my outdoor adventures have been more light hearted and cheerful despite the struggles. 

As you may have already guessed we made it back to the car in good spirits and grateful we had spent a few hours in the wilderness on a grand adventure. Our dogs too felt the relief when they climbed into the backseat and were sleeping in a few short minutes.

I learned that day that even if I am not always prepared to accomplish a task that I still have the ability to do that task in my own way and find success in doing so. We were not the fastest along our journey but we still made it to the summit and back to the car in good time. If you are not sure what you can accomplish pick a goal that stretches you a little outside of your comfort zone and go for it. Find your Timpanogos and summit it. 

Summiting Timpanogos: Reaching The Summit

We arrived at the saddle of Timp and looked over the valley below, a valley covered half by a lake, half buy houses and blanketed in a cloud of smog. It’s impressive to see all than humans have built, the roads, houses, water storage tanks, and parks all designed to direct us from one place to another, protect us, feed us, and help us relax. Each of these things has a purpose, they are there because man wants them to be. Even mighty mountains are amended or moved if mankind sees them as an obstacle and that scares me. 

After a few short minutes of looking over the valley we ban the next phase of the ascent the steep part as I’ve always called it, the part that can cause your already wobbly legs to shake a little more. This section was a breeze fort the pups as they easily maneuvered up and through the steep scramble. My friend made easy movements and made it up easily too, I trembled and my feet wobbled as I took each step. I climbed with confidence as I went but at the back of my mind I was chanting legs don’t fail me now. After we were through  this tight steep section of the climb I fe;lt relief but the real push to the summit had just begun.

The last half mile to the summit is actually a fairly easy stretch for most who have made it this far, you can see the shed at the top and you know that a place to rest with a beautiful view is just half a mile away. My legs were tired, my will was growing weaker by the minute, but my heart was still set on summiting so I began a slow process one step at a time to the summit with needed breaks a little more often than I would have liked, yet after some time I made it. I had completed the task we had set out on to have a great adventure and reach the top of Mount Timpanogos. 

What a feeling that was to stand again at what felt like was the top of the world, being able to see miles all around me of life in that area, the natural places, and just being in that moment happy that I had made it. We had made it together four human feet and eight dog paws had followed the trail to the summit and were now resting together eating and rehydrating for a bit as we took in the moments from 11,752′. 

Good friends who go on adventures with you are always great, a friend who encourages you to push a little outside of your comfort zone are the greatest. These are the friends who will help you grow the most. My friend had encouraged me throughout the journey to keep moving, smile a little and soak up the exceptional moments of beauty as we climbed.

Summiting Timp: The Way Up.

We arrived at the Timpooneke trailhead at half-past seven ready to start our trek to the higher elevation. Our dogs jumped out of the car with eager paws and noses ready to trot their way through the forest smelling every scent they might cross. As we began my muscles felt tired and slow, stretching a little along the way. Around one mile up we stopped and stretched and things started feeling a bit less rusty and a little more fluid with each step I took up the trail.

It’s funny how you believe you are in great physical shape till you do something that you do not usually do. I personally know I am not in the best shape but I hike often yet have found myself a little heavier than I have been, a little weaker, and a little more out of breath on this hike than I would have liked. As my legs trembled and my lungs ached I chatted with my friend about life, it’s ups and downs, and the outcomes of decisions made and yet to be had. 

One thing that makes sense to me is hiking, no matter the pain, the conversations, or the views I see hiking makes sense to me. As we traveled up the trail we’d cross snowfields of various sizes that our dogs would eagerly relax and play in as they loved the cooling feeling of the snow on their paws and as they roll around aside from the beauty around and the conversations with my friend watching the dogs play was what kept me entertained when my feet didn’t want to move any further. 

As all adventures go we pressed on at a good pace winding through the trees and the switchbacks, feeling the sun on our necks, the wind in our hair, and seeing the beauty that was created a little at a time over thousands of years. I always fail to forget how beautiful the hike up Timpanogos is with its overlook of the valleys and mountains to the north and sense of wilderness to the south as you hike towards the summit one step at a time. 

Doubt and putting in the work.

What does your inner voice say to you when you set off towards reaching a new goal. Is the voice you hear a cheerleader? A voice that is filled with belief and confidence in your ability to accomplish your goal? Does the voice enable you to push onward through challenges to reach your destination without a doubt on your quest?

Do you have a inner voice like mine that tends to distract you from your desired outcome? A voice that causes you to doubt your abilities and motivation? That provides you with endless excuses and alternative “opportunities” to test out as you go. I have a voice that does all of those things builds me up, tears me down, welcomes doubt into the conversation, then leaves me filled with questions and thoughts about all the potential outcomes that could happen. Unfortunately, this voice of mine usually focuses on the high probability of failure.

I spend too much time thinking about what might happen if I fail and not enough time working towards my goal. I recognize that sounds a lot easier than it really is to just not think about all the various “What if” scenarios playing through our minds. It is just as easy though to do the work, it takes just as much time and is much more productive than battling with your doubts.

This month I have pushed myself more than I have previously on my e-commerce store, I have worked to get more items online, better selections of items, and a greater reach to potential customers via smarter marketing tactics. It seems to be working so far this month but we are only eight days into the month.

I also have made great steps forward with my podcast. I’ve ordered the equipment, worked out the first five episodes with guests and have a excellent plan to market to as large of an audience as I can. I’m committing to making this project work no matter how rough the first episodes might be I’ll push through and make this project reach it fullest potential one episode at a time.

I can’t wait to show you all.

Leveling Up.

A quick follow up from yesterdays post, today I went on an spontaneous adventure with my friend to the desert three hours to the east. It was a great time searching out petroglyphs and walking through dry canyon washes looking at the sandstone features with our dogs. Just a follow up that saying yes a little more pays off, it made all the difference in how today turned out.

I listen to a number of podcasts that vary in topic from personal growth/development, business tactics/processes, food/restaurant development/managment and regular life stories that have a motivational tune to them. Most of them have a common theme about leveling up and doing better at what you do. The people sharing these messages are usually extremely dedicated to one or two things and have become world-class at using those skills to make money from them.

One of the most constant things you hear is taking the next step, leveling up in one way or another and using that momentum to maximize your opportunities to grow your business, brand, portfolio, or influence. After you level up once and you master your new level you seek out new opportunities to level up again. It’s a constant series of leveling up and extended growth so you can reach your ultimate level. The ultimate level might be wealth, successful businesses, or life balance.

For each of us, the end goal is different. We all want different things this is why our paths vary, the way we earn and spend money varies, and the way we look at life is slightly different from the people we spend the most time with. What I have deduced from each of these podcasts and their mentors and guests is that you need to deduce what you want to become and jump feet first into whatever you decide to pursue and become the best you can be at it.   

Presentation.

Today I remembered why I enjoy presenting in front of people, the thrill of sharing a message that some need to hear is exciting. Tonight I was apart of a basic presentation for my marketing class, I shared about four minutes worth of information to a audience that wasn’t interested in the subject we shared but listened for a grade. I tried to keep my talking points simple yet entertaining and felt the audience heard what I needed to say.

In the past, I have been privileged to present in front of groups from twenty to a thousand people and have loved the opportunity to share my story. A story that to me is normal life lived as I do, one foot in front of the other and adapting to the world around me. I have been blessed to have a story to tell others, one that people say inspires them to live a little happier each day. As a person with a disability, I find joy in living independently yet can happily acknowledge that I need help from time to time. This has not only humbled me but has given me the opportunity to openly learn how to ask better questions.

As a speaker and storyteller, I am often asked to share my journey, the ups, and downs alongside the lessons I have learned as I’ve grown little by little. It’s never easy to be vulnerable, to allow others to know your weaknesses and fears. Yet, it is surprisingly freeing to tell a story built off those pillars and develop a message that can inspire others to recognize the good in their lives. I love hearing the good and seeing the good that others have in their lives.

This desire to hear the good has led me to the next leg of my journey a podcast, a bi-weekly segment highlighting the good of the world. I can’t wait to present you with the release date of my podcast, “What’s your take?” launching May 2019.

Digital Vomit.

When I thought up the idea of writing at least Three Hundred Words a Day every day I thought that thinking of an inspirational message connected to my day to day activities would be easy. Little did I know that this task would be harder than I could have imagined. I have been stumped many nights over what to write that might help others to see life in a better light and be easier on others and be easier on themselves. It is a challenge for me writing something every day that makes sense and doesn’t come out as what I call “digital vomit”.

Digital Vomit is simply defined as posting something just for the sake of posting it. A post that has no real meaning or purpose and posted just for the potential views along with the hope that you’ll keep the algorithm from the internet in your favor. That’s what I do some nights just to get my post up and my checklist checked for another day. This isn’t what I envisioned when I started out this project and it’s been hard to recognize this is what I do just to get by.

What I had hoped was a simple day to day activity for my own personal growth that I could share with others to inspire them. I feel that I fall short of this goal a few nights a week, I hope to change that. This week I will be putting more effort into my posts to see how I feel about my work, as we all know to put more effort into something usually yields increased satisfaction with your output. I’m hoping for a week with less digital vomit and a week of sharing posts that can inspire others in their personal journeys.  

This is a personal evaluation of my progress as a writer, storyteller, and person who shares inspiration. Am I the best at my craft? No, but I am better today than I was January 1st and that is what matters to me. Here’s to a week of improves posts and better storytelling.