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.
Wow Carla, you are very brave indeed!! Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story:)
Not sure I was brave Norma, more like crazy. What was I thinking going on a 9 mile hike when I don’t even exercise regularly. Proving hubby wrong was my agenda…instead I ate crow.
Carla your story parallels so many factors about life, business, and relationships. I love your story and can’t wait to find out how the rest of your hike was.
You are inspiring and I am blessed to know you.
You are successful because you do take on the challenges. Sometimes we go into a lot of things unprepared. The only way to know that is to do it. Then we learn along the way for next time.
Each journey we learn something new and you embrace it. Thank you for your strength and wisdom. 🙂
Oh thank you for the support Katrina. Your words encourage me, they help me look deeper to find the reason for the journey instead of focusing on the immediate income or goal.
Carla, up to now I was not aware that we both live in California… Where was my mind? 🙂
Too funny Simona. We are both so busy who has time to think about where all our friends live…except when it comes to sitting, chatting over a cup of hot coffee!
Carla- you would have made it no matter what. That is who you are & apply in all areas of your life. The fact that you got life lessons that you can apply to being in business is the icing on the cake. I think its really important to explore the limits of our belief in ourselves. Yes, it could have been easier, you better prepared but the end truth is you know you have whatever it takes to make something happen. It should still any nagging toughts or lack of confidence.
OMG! I can’t believe you did that! I’m proud of you but gee, baby steps would have been nice!
Yes, it is always good to prepare but once we step out there, just have to keep moving forward. I got a giggle out of your “five foot commute”.
Congratulations on getting out of your comfort zone, making a decision and following through Carla. A 10 mile hike, at this time, is not in my vocabulary so I applaud you for undertaking this somewhat daring adventure!!
Love your title Warning Don’t Be Caught Unprepared for the Journey
Jumping in with both feet
I recently hiked up Clingman’s Dome – a real chest pounding, breath taking walk. I need to be more fit to enjoy what I like to do.
Thank you Robin. I knew I wasn’t fit, my husband warned me; but, I’m stubborn and decided to go anyway. I paid a great price but I learned a valuable lesson. Hopefully others will avoid the near fatal mistake I made and go prepared.
Sounds like you made it back okay. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the story on your next blog. I also want to see some pictures.
Thank you Kelly. It was quite the hike, journey and LESSON. It is one I will never forget, I can still feel the gut-wrenching decision to push on, persevere and not give up. I’ve never had to dig so deep as I did that day. (guess life and death played a big part)
I love this blog post, Carla! So glad that you didn’t turn back! You always inspire me. Thanks for being such a wonderful woman. Blessings.
Thank you Alexandra. It’s nice to know that the lessons I learn and share inspire others. Hopefully it helps to prepare you so you can avoid the hardships I’ve endured.
I absolutely LOVE your ‘no-turning’ back attitude!!
That “no-turning” back attitude comes from being the oldest of five children Mike. It comes from the core of who I am, what I stand for and how I lead others to their dreams, too. Thank you for sharing that with me…it instills that I am on the right track.
Keep going no matter how difficult it gets
Yep Veronica that is my motto “never quit no matter how hard it gets”. The most important thing in life, business or relationships is to be prepared.
The important thing is you didn’t stop. People are not always prepared for what’s in store for them and that’s what makes life exciting. Just keep in mind the lessons learned and the whole experience. Thank you for sharing, looking forward to the next half of your journey.
Thank you Lorii. Trust me when I share that it was the single hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Even having two babies was easier than digging up the courage, endurance and gumption to hike my way out of those falls.
That sounds like such an awesome experience and journey:) Thank you for sharing! <3
Thanks Daniele for taking time to follow my journey. Hope you are having fun on your trip to Ireland.
Well…the fact you wrote this blog means you made it out alive ….indeed, we need to be prepared for the journey into the unknown in business….but sometimes we just have to “do it” and learn the lessons…then plan better then next time! Looking forward to hearing the rest of the story!
Thank you Cindy…sorry I let the cat out of the bag 🙂 Yes, you’ll want to read the next article…it turned out okay…lessons and all.
THAT right there is why you so fabulously earn the title “Fiery Grandma” haha 🙂 That’s some serious gusto and determination and quite an example to lead with 🙂
🙂 Thank you Robin. I can hear you laughing as you typed this. I learned a lot about myself…maybe some things I wish I hadn’t!
If my wife said to me “Honey I don’t think you can do it”, I would do exactly what you did. That would be my prime motivator. However, I’m glad you had time to smell the roses and finished the race too – very symbolic of how it’s playing out for you right now. Way to go Carla.
Whoa! That is scary Gary…good thing you live in Canada and I live in California. Putting our personalities in the same room might cause an explosion,lol. Thank you for the support and allowing me to get to know the real Gary 🙂
So proud of you my dear <3 Wonderful job! Thank you for sharing. It sounds like a beautiful adventure in nature <3 What we learn by doing these things is often unexpected.
Thank you Susan. This hike sure taught me a lot about myself, life and business all in one day. I learned that digging deep is a serious matter, it could mean our very life. I also learned that humbling ourselves is not a bad thing…sometimes our loved ones know us better than we know ourselves.
Wow what great story about your journey. It is easy to underestimate the difficulty and planning required for these frolics through the forest.
Thanks Tom. I had a blast on the hike. However, being unprepared sort of took the joy out of it. The hike out really gave me time to reflect on how working at home can end in the same manner. If we aren’t prepared either before or learn during the process of building a business it can lead to failure worse than the hike itself.
It was nice to read your story Carla, and I agree with you sometimes is better we listen what people that know us have to say, but the good thing is that we always learn something new and from our experience! 🙂
I know Meire, it was a very humbling experience. One that I don’t care to experience again 🙂
Thank you for sharing your story. I have gone on hikes in the mountains of Colorado with my family. Hiking isn’t easy if you aren’t prepared. My dad used to carry some tablets that you can put in water so that we didn’t have to carry a large amount of water on the trail. We would refill canteens with water from the river and then he would put the amount of tablets into the water to treat it. You were very smart when you packed snacks into your bag.
Thank you Christy. One day, when prepared I would love to hike the mountains in Colorado. But, being prepared takes time, the right resources and mindset…yes, I learned my lesson well.
I like to think i can jump without a parachute, but i am way more cautious then that… Nice Post!
Wow, jumping without a parachute, Robert? You my friend are brave.
I only jump when the risk is rewarding.. so to speak!
Very true, Robert. It’s wise in business as in life to look before you jump. That is called being prepared and serves one well in the long run.
Love your post, Carla! I’d put my money on you any day! I know that once you decide to do something, like hiking, you’ll succeed! Good for you!
Awe, thanks Alexandra. I used to think I could do anything. In business I still think that way; however, when hiking that’s a whole other story. Thanks for the vote of confidence.
Great post! I’ve never gone hiking before….don’t really plan to either, but I commend you for not quitting!
Thank you, Veronica. My advice if you ever do go hiking is to start small, get in shape and then graduate up to a longer hike. I sure learned a tough lesson on this hike to Feather Falls.
I was so glad to hear that in the end, you made it. One tough cookie…that’s my friend, Carla!
Thanks Mindy. Yep, made it safe, sound and sore; but, thanks to Protandim my recovery was faster than the younger kids with us.
You crack me up! Never been hiking? “Sure, I would LOVE to go on that 10 mile hike with y’all!” LOL! Did they not even give you any clues to what you should bring? Like Trail Mix, water, water and more water and skin protection, not to mention breathable clothing and good hiking shoes???? You are so funny, girlfriend! Love the story….thanks for sharing.
I know Mindy, right? But, there was a little ego involved and I just jumped in. As for my friends, well they figured I knew what I was doing and was prepared. They found out at the same time as I did the exact opposite was true.
You so inspire me! I tend to jump without a parachute too often! Thank you for the reminder!
You’re so sweet, Liz. Remember, pull the rip-cord…don’t just jump!
Love your spirit and determination Carla…BUT are you crazy??? Hiking in the woods?? Oh wait a minute, who am I to talk…last weekend I was on the beach playing volleyball with college girls! At least for me, thanks to Protandim, I have confidence that my body can do what my mind chooses!! Just gonna take some time to rebuild those muscles that I once thought had gone for good! You go girl!! Love protandim!
I’m laughing so hard right now Denny as I can “hear” you asking me those questions. I know, what was I thinking, right? However, after reading about YOU playing volleyball on the beach with college girls…after what you had been through with chronic pain and incapacity? Holy cow, girlfriend! I’m so glad Donny Osmond got through to YOU and you took action. I, too am thankful for Protandim for without it I am certain I would not have returned from the hike, no kidding.