Warning Don’t Be Caught Unprepared for the Journey
Jumping in with both feet
Oh, the lessons I’ve learned about business from simply living my life. I’m not sure I was as aware of my surroundings or events when I worked in my job at the bank. Maybe that was due to being so young and now I am working on redefining success after 50 I see the lesson in every waking breath of life I live. Does that happen to you, too?
This past weekend a group of friends invited me to join them on a hike to Feather Falls. The falls are nestled in the Plumas National Forest just about 27 miles from Oroville, California. The elevation of the trail to the falls rises to 2,500 feet and the height of the falls themselves is 410 feet cascading down sheer vertical rock masses.
An important fact to remember as this story unfolds is that my daily commute is a mere 5 feet. The most exercise I get is pushing my rolling office chair around the room and lifting the telephone off its cradle. Why on Earth did I even consider going on a “moderate” 10-mile hike with my friends?
There were two reasons I chose to voluntarily hike to those falls: fun and because my husband said I wouldn’t be able to do it. Girls let me warn you about something; being right is not always worth being right. Sometimes relinquishing the right to make our own decisions serves us better when we allow those who love us, who know our strengths and weaknesses better than we do to give us suggestions for our own best interest.
Because I had never gone on a hike before, no not even a baby hike I had no idea how to prepare for my day out with friends in the wilderness. I did eat a solid breakfast of eggs, hash brown potatoes, and a slice of buttered toast.
Because of the travel time I cut back on my usual 3 cups of coffee and settled for just one. Looking back I’m so thankful I remembered to take my Protandim and customized vitamins. My body would need every ounce of protection it could get that day.
The weather had been steadily increasing in temperature with no rain in sight. I chose to wear blue jeans and a polo shirt along with my favorite tennis shoes. My backpack held four bottles of water, my grab-and-go meals for maintaining my metabolism throughout the day, and various essential oils just in case.
What I hadn’t counted on was the amount of energy it would take to hike 4 ½ miles in and 4 ½ miles out after we had already hiked another ½ mile from the parking lot to the fork in the trail. None of my family is hikers so the lack of knowledge about walking sticks, backpack bladders for ample water, and plenty of high carbohydrate snacks was news to me.
It didn’t take long to learn that I was drastically unprepared and my body was about to suffer the consequences of poor decisions all the way around.
No turning back
The various trees, foliage, and flowers were beautiful as were the different bugs, birds, and moths we saw. We simply were enjoying the moments of being together enjoying the cool breeze blowing to keep our bodies cool and the beauty of the forest sprinkled with seeds from around the country by birds resting in the branches high above our heads.
The realization of my mistake hit me like a sack of rocks about ¾ of the way into the falls. None of us realized the grade was descending as we enjoyed the conversation and the scenery of the trail. It has been years since my asthma and allergies affected my health. However, I hadn’t considered the rising altitude and the amount of energy I was exerting to keep up with the pack.
Thankfully there were benches and rocks to rest on along the trail. Young and old alike were on the trail that day; grandmas and grandpas walked along with the young children, Boy Scouts were there with their troop leaders, there were even college students snapping pictures as they jogged the trail as if it were nothing.
What was a woman over 50 with no hiking experience doing out in these woods? Call me crazy, but I wanted to prove I could do it and finish. I am not a quitter, but I have to tell you the truth…there were a few defining moments when I began to wonder if I could finish.
Join me next week for the rest of the story.
I’d love to hear the lessons you’ve learned about business by simply living your life. Leave your comment below.