Seperation of Mind and Body

imageAlways up for a challenge, when asked if I want to climb Pikes Peak, what is my response? Hell yes! Is there really a need to ask. Never one for vacations, of laying and drinking iby the beach, I’d much rather be sweating it out on a 12 plus mile hike up a 14,000 foot elevation. So I find myself staring up the Barr Trail, backpack strapped on, my parents flanking me on both sides, barefoot shoes and an itch for adventure all present at 8:30 am. Initially we face a heavy load of traffic running down the mountainside for the first few miles. But I’m not one to complain, especially when a majority are bare-chested tattooed guys! As we push further we find ourselves apart of a smaller group of summit climbers. After a while, though, I decide to put my headphones on, which my father doesn’t want to hear. He holds his hands out in a motion for me to go ahead. A solo trek up a mountain by myself? Yes please! I love my parents, but I felt like a lamb, that Dad preaches about, mindlessly following their schedule and pace, but inside I was a restless lion and that arm was my chance to let the lion out and roar. I take off in control of my own experience. Flipping through my iPod, singing, dancing, and smiling my way up that mountain- I was determined to be the happiest person reaching that summit, turning down my dead set to greet everyone, mustering up the deepest most genuine smile that I could (and I was the one climbing most of the people I passed were going down). Looking around on the ascent, the weather is perfect (although colder, I was still sweating like crazy) and the views all around are absolutely beautiful, I just stand in awe trying to soak it all in. I can’t help but notice when I look up that there are ominous clouds hanging over the peak (I knew that storms were common in the afternoons, which is why I was down for leaving at 5 am when I woke up, but things happen for a reason, so clearly we were supposed to be there then). When I reach the point with 2 miles left I feel the first drops of rain and hear the claps of thunder. Ii keep pushing on however until I see lightning and seek shelter under a rock formation with 3 other hikers. After waiting it out the sun teases us by peeking back out, so we have another go at it. Unfortunately the sunshine is short-lived and with less than a mile to go the rain comes and eventually the streaks of lightning send me once again seeking shelter. This time, my options are limited and I’m only half covered. This leaves my legs and hands exposed to the oncoming hail and I get pounded. Initially I want to think how bad this sucks and it hurts, then I applyimage my training that got me up the hill when my hips were resisting the persistent upward climb. I thought about how there was no pain. This was just my physical body (my vessel, but not the the real me). I had to separate my mind and inspired self away from the physical ‘pain’. So I DECIDED not to feel sorry for myself. This was all apart of the journey- a test of Nature and part of her beauty. Storms happen-big deal- we choose how to deal with them. Eventually, although it’s still hailing, I see the sun peeking out behind me and decide to have a go. My hands are numb with cold and the rocks are slippery, but I am RIGHT there! Just then I look down and what do I see? A rainbow. But not just any rainbow, but utter perfection. A perfect arch, I can see its beginning and end, with the faint view of a second arch overhead. And the colors! Each color distinct and vibrant. i am again humbled by the amazing beauty of Nature. A few minutes I was pelted by hail and here I was rewarded by Nature with one of its greatest treasures. Instantly uplifted, painfree, oblivious to altitude or altered breathing, I turn with a smile of awe plastered to my face, to complete my 13 miles after 7 hours. Soaked and numb (hardly able to hold my camera) I imageanxiously wait for my parents (for an hour and a half, I may add) shivering, but only able to think of how truly amazing the whole journey was. Finally I see my parents, faces dazed and smiling from the experience. although surrounded by people reaching the top by tain, we are different. They ride to the top, zip through the touristy shop at the top, spending too much for a t-shirt that will end up with all otherimage lost vacation shirts, snap a few pictures to say they were there, before boarding and heading back down. Completely missing the challenge and beauty. The biggest thing I learned was to separate my mind from my physical body so that I could push myself to the limit (same thing with lifting, often times strength is in the mind, you have to believe that you’re strong), so that I could reach the top unphased (physically speaking), with a smile on my face. Set that challenge, envision yourself at the top, separate mind and body, and climb those mountains in your life! Love, Inspire, Live Brittany

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