“The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir
8.6 miles, 24,000+ steps, 99 floors/flights. 4 hours.
Those were the stats logged on my fitness tracker from Sunday’s stroll up and down Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, Mt. Desert Island, Maine. This, on top of mountain climbs on both Saturday and Monday, making it a perfect 3-3 long hiking weekend!
But Cadillac Mt. was the one I thought just might break me – the now officially “out of shape” and imperfectly perfect, middle-aged ME! Seriously, that hike was a mental game. Just about everyone I met on the trail was in their 20’s and clearly physically fit! I felt like I was back in weight-loss boot camp pushing myself past every mental limit or barrier just to finish. Near the end of the 4.2 mile hike down the mountain I had to focus on things other than how sore and tired my legs, and knees, were from the pounding. I kept repeating, “Lor, we’ve got this! You can totally do this!”
I knew from experience that my mental and physical capacity was stronger than any excuses I could conjure up. But that didn’t prevent me from considering stopping many times before the actual summit. Nor, did it thwart the idea once I reached the summit that I could ask a “cute guy” on a Harley for a ride down the mountain. [Those of you who know me personally, know exactly how that might have ended! 😉 ]
It’s likely that Cadillac Mt. would not have kicked my butt so severely had I hiked it last year when I was -30 lbs lighter and in better physical shape. It’s been a year of transition and big changes…of grief and loss in various forms. And this has had me reeling a bit as I find my way to solid footing. Correction – as I hike and climb my way back to my zone of healthy, happy and whole, and open myself up to a new level of Lori!
Transitions are life-altering events meant to shake things up, open us up and move us!
Transitions are NOT easy, even when you choose them. They can be disorienting, confusing, lonely, perhaps even painful. Transitions often require you to let go of the safe and familiar, hurling yourself toward something new and unknown. Yikes! – that’s scary.
This is exactly what I’ve done by moving across the country to Maine for a “Year by the Sea” where I will stretch my hamstrings and my comfort zone. But I did it because I knew it’s what I needed and the timing felt right. I did it because I believe transitions are a natural and necessary part of life, and the most fertile ground for personal growth. If we’re lucky, we experience a cosmic shift and become an even better version of ourselves. At the very least, transitions require a trust in the Universe and in yourself that can test your resolve and, at the same time, build courage and strength.
I’ve never lived anywhere other than MN full-time. Most of my friends, family, work colleagues and clients, and certainly my “familiar” are there – including my cute little home. So naturally, I am lonesome in these early days as I build new networks, new friends and a new norm. I’m taking work/career risks, which means financial risks, but at the same time opening myself up to totally new ideas, opportunities and adventures. Hey, I have skills! [Anyone in Maine reading this need a marketer?!] 🙂
This transition is not the easy path and it didn’t happen overnight. It has had years of twists and turns, adventures and setbacks, and yet somehow on Dec. 3, 2017 — and again when I made the final decision on March 3, 2018 — I knew I had to go for it. So here I am in a year of STRETCH & LIVING BRAVE!
Staying in the equation during big transitions
So, when I wound up here in Maine alone on a holiday weekend, missing everything safe and familiar, I knew of only one thing to do – take it to the mountain! This is my “happy place” – and Blue Hill Mountain and Acadia are my true loves. So I hiked my butt off every day this weekend, because I could. And because when I am on the mountain, I’m on a mission…distracted from the simple worries in life and focused instead on nature and the big stuff…the stuff that really matters! And, I am always grounded in gratitude.
For today, I am celebrating that I made it! I am here. I am in an amazing and gorgeous place that I love with the inspiration of the ocean and mountains all around me…with fabulous people and communities that to me represent the “real deal.” I am here — opening myself up to everything new and to what’s possible. I am going for it.
I expect to be a little lonely these first few weeks/months as find my bearings. I expect there to be times when I will crave the familiar. To even wonder what the hell I just did! But I also know that if I allow it to wash over me, I am invigorated, challenged, and moved. So today, living in the equation means taking it all in, opening myself up and not being afraid, and most definitely taking it to the mountain.
So, hello Maine! Hello new! Hello ocean! Hello mountains … I will be seeing much more of you.
P.S. Hike anyone? 🙂
#motivationmonday #yearbythesea #trusttheuniverse #wevegotthis #lovemaine