If you would've told me a year ago that I would be hiking...twice, I would not have believed you! Yes, I was a student athlete, having ran track and played volleyball. Once I graduated from high school, I went into the fashion industry and left sports behind. Except for that stint at my local community college where I took a couple classes, just so I could play volleyball again. By the way, that was one of the best decisions I made. My college volleyball coach boosted my self esteem and she is one of the reasons I am who I am today. Go figure. I didn't intend to play volleyball in college but I'll never forget the experience.
It's safe to say that all of my adult life my muscles maintained its memory and having a high metabolism made me appear to look in shape. I'm grateful. But I didn't really pay attention to it as much as other people brought it to my attention. Over the years, raising Junior Olympian track star daughters quickly let me know that with no regimen for working out and staying physically active, I was definitely not the star athlete I use to be and I was okay with that. My priorities were different at this stage in my life.
That is until October 2016, when I suffered a heart attack. I won't go into much detail here but basically I believe that being worn mentally eventually affected me physically and my heart couldn't take all the pressure I put on it. So on a Saturday night last Fall, my heart got my attention and in wisdom, for the love of myself and my family, I have been listening intently to my heart ever since.
Once the new year of 2017 rolled around, you can imagine that not just my emotional, spiritual but also my physical health was now a major priority for me. I began to make changes such as juicing, exercising at home (nothing major but just enough to work on my core and get stronger) and trying to include more fruits and vegetables to the family's diet. Sometimes we have a great week, other week's it's not a success but at least we are all more intentional about our health.
Someone who has been in my life all my life has been hiking for a very long time. I always declined because besides not having the time, I was not in the frame of mind, thought it was a waste of time and didn't see the need to purposefully place myself in that kind of torture! But in the beginning of this year when I was invited to join her, I hesitantly accepted.
I could not believe I had signed up for what was about to be physical duress and I was thinking would my heart be able to sustain all the activity we were about to embark on. But you know what? I did it! It was hard. I had to stop more than a few times to catch my breath. My legs and calves were on fire but I must say, my hiking partner did a great job in showing patience. With a combination of thinking how you finally made it and trying not to think about the fact that you must now go back down the trail, (which is of course a lot easier than going up), the view at the top makes it all worth it. I was very proud of myself. I posted on social media and everything!
The second time I was invited to go hiking (yes, you read that right I actually signed up to go again), my experience was different. First, my super athletic, very much in better shape than me daughters joined us. Let's just say that they killed it staying ahead, way ahead most of the trail. Not to mention they even ran at times! Truly show offs.
How can I neglect to mention that the main difference between this hike and my first was that my hiking partner chose a more rigorous, harder trail and I was not a happy camper...I mean hiker. I felt like I had been bamboozled and I complained almost the entire time even asking for the exit signs. I also experienced some kind of strange pain (meaning you are out of shape) in my heel which did not make it any easier to finish. But once again, I did it! It is such a great sense of accomplishment and achievement.
My last two speaking engagements, the topics were both about walking...Through the Fire and Into Your Purpose. Every speaker should leave the audience with a takeaway for implementation so my ultimate takeaway is The Purpose Hike. I believe that walking out your divine purpose is similar to going on a hike. You need the right perspective. You must prepare mentally. You must go through the entire process (hike) and you don't get to exit prematurely. Finally, the presentation of what awaits you once you arrive at the top is both worth it and exhilarating!