I just watched a video from one of the coaches at TNM using visualization equating the journey of becoming alcohol free to climbing a mountain. At one point, he described reaching halfway up the mountain and having to stop because you may have realized you didn’t have all of the equipment you needed to reach the summit. At this point, you may need to go back down to base camp and grab some more tools to begin your journey again. It doesn’t mean you have to start at day one again, after all, you already made it up halfway.
I was immediately taken back to a time when we still lived in Northern California and were backpacking in the Trinity Alps. At that time, my husband and I were really into backpacking and spent many weekends up in the Trinity Alps wilderness. This is some of the most beautiful country in the state. Lakes, waterfalls, creeks, forests, wildflowers and meadows abound. Breathtaking views and a fisherman’s dream. Our dogs, Abby (black lab) and Cheyenne (my first German Shepherd) even had their own backpacking gear and both went on the hikes with us.
One of the hikes was up to 3 mountain lakes, Emerald, Sapphire, and Mirror. This was around a 40 mile round trip backpacking trek and one of our goal hikes. For whatever reason, we attempted this hike on 3 different occasions until we finally reached this goal. The 2 prior hikes we reached about halfway and ended up having to turn around and go home. But we were determined to reach Mirror Lake and finally did that 3rd time. It was my husband, his best friend, myself and only Cheyenne. Abby was getting too old and stayed behind with my parents.
On our final trip of this 4 night, 5 day hike, we took camp at Morris Meadows and then took day hikes up to the 3 lakes. Cheyenne was my backpacking buddy. This dog was in her element in the wilderness and took every step with us along our journey. This picture is so precious to me as it represents all of our ambition and satisfaction in finally conquering this trail.
The song “Some Of It” by Eric Church has a line: “when you dance, hold her close ‘till the breaks go for broke, be the first to reach for her hand, NO YOU DON’T GET TO DO SOME THINGS AGAIN”. When I first heard this song, it was about a week after we had put Cheyenne to sleep. That last line brings tears to my eyes every time and I am taken back to that day at Mirror Lake. Nope, you don’t get to do some things again.
So, climb that mountain. No matter how many times you have to start at base camp. Twice before we attempted to reach these lakes but we had such a strong desire to reach the top, we weren’t going to let anything stand in our way. Just like the hundreds of times I’ve tried to cut back or quit drinking, I finally reached a time in my life that I’m determined to reach the summit. You don’t get to do some things again, live in this moment and reach for the sky.
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