….where you conquered a personal health, wellness, or physical challenge
I pulled out of my driveway in 2021 with great confidence in the year-long trip I had planned. I had prepared for many scenarios of challenging times. I was ready to conquer what was ahead.
My first stop was Big Sky, Montana. I was spending a month there preparing for the trip, decompressing, and playing in the Gallatin National Forest. When I finally decided it was time to go on my first winter hike & first solo hike, I was paralyzed by fear. I can’t pinpoint what I was afraid of, but I know that when fear settles in, I come up with every “what-if” that delays the trip until I’m thoroughly worked through a solution.
Finally, one night I set out all of my supplies (you’d think I was packing for 3 days, not 3 miles) so that I could hit the trail first thing the next morning. When I woke up, it took me 6 hours to finally get the nerve to walk out of the door.
I reference this experience quite often. It seems that over-preparation, or maybe it’s avoidance, is my go-to when fear sneaks in. The thing is, it’s always helped me to imagine and mentally prepare. It helped while I was preparing for my first kayak trip in Olympic National Park, my first bear encounter in Yosemite National Park, and my first rattlesnake sighting in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It was an asset when I got lost in Death Valley National Park, and when it was 114 degrees at Mount Rainier, and countless other examples.
I didn’t conquer the fears. I conquered being aware of how I face fear. Now I can pinpoint when it’s coming. I greet fear, quickly plan, and then walk right through it so that I can experience the joy on the other side.