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The mountain and me

“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 on Mount Desert Island, Maine. This, on top of mountain climbs on both Saturday and Monday, making it a perfect 3-3 hiking weekend.

Cadillac Mountain was the one I thought just might break me – the now “out of shape” and imperfectly perfect, middle-aged me. This 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 with some dignity.

Near the end of the 4.2-mile hike down the mountain, I focused my attention on things other than how tired and sore my knees were from the pounding. I kept my self-motivation tape on speed dial and 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. I knew that I would not quit, no matter what. Yet that evidence didn’t prevent me from considering stopping before reaching the summit. Nor, did it thwart the idea that once I reached the summit, I could ask the cute guy on a Harley for a ride down the mountain.

It’s likely that Cadillac Mountain would not have kicked my butt so severely had I hiked it last year when I was lighter and in better physical shape. It’s been a year of transition with big life changes – a year of grief and loss in various forms. Admittedly, this has me reeling a bit as I find my way to solid footing.

Transitions are life-altering events meant to shake things up, open us up and move us

Transition is not easy, even when you choose it. It can be disorienting, confusing, lonely, sometimes even painful. Transitions often require you to let go of the safe and familiar and hurl yourself toward something new and unknown. That’s scary even for the strongest among us.

Hurl myself forward into the unknown.

That’s exactly what I’ve done by moving across the country to Maine where I will stretch my hamstrings and my comfort zone. I chose it to follow-my heart…to be true to myself…and because I knew it’s what I needed. I did it because I believe transitions are a natural and necessary part of life, and the most fertile ground for growth. The good stuff is often on the other side. 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 ourselves that can test our resolve and build courage and strength.

I’d never lived anywhere full-time other than MN. Most of my friends, family, work colleagues and clients – everything that is “familiar” – resided there. So naturally, I’m feeling lonesome in the early days as I build new networks, new friends and a new normal. I’m also taking career risks, which means financial risks, but at the same time opening myself up to totally new ideas, opportunities and adventures.

This transition is not the easy path. It has been fraught with years of twists and turns, adventures and setbacks, and yet, in the end, I knew I had to go for it.

Staying in the equation during times of transition

So, when I wound up in Maine solo – missing everything safe and familiar, I knew there was only one thing to do – take it to the mountain.

Hiking feeds my soul. And Acadia National Park is my happy place. So, on this long holiday weekend, I hiked my butt off. Being one in nature grounds me in the big stuff, the important stuff, the stuff that really matters. When I’m hiking the trails and mountains of My Acadia, I am fully present, free and grounded in gratitude.

Today, I’m celebrating that I made it to my new life in Maine. I’m here. I’m happy. I’m in the most amazing and gorgeous place on earth, for me. I get the opportunity to restart here with the inspiration of the ocean and mountains all around me…with fabulous people and communities that feel like the “real deal.” I’m here and opening myself up to everything new.  I’m going for it! And in doing so, I’m blessed to be cheered and supported by an amazing network back home. I have the best of both worlds.

Today, living in the equation means taking it all in, opening myself up and not being afraid.

So, hello Maine! Hello ocean and mountains…flora and fauna…lakes and marshes. I’ll be seeing much more of you and I know, together, we’ll make this work.

#motivationmonday #trusttheuniverse #wevegotthis #lovemaine

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