I took a hike yesterday, to the top of a mountain. I could see all of the San Fernando Valley, the Hollywood Hills and even downtown in the far distance and beyond. The air felt good. The sun shined down one me. It must have been in the upper 70’s as evening drew near. In shorts, a sleeveless t-shirt (been trying to even out that farmers tan), my black ipod nano, a bottle of water and sunglasses I climbed upward.
Winded, huffing and puffing I stopped. I looked up to where I wanted to go and thought, too far, need to turn around before the sun goes down. I came up with several more excuses why I should quit. . . but I knew I had to keep going. It seemed that the last 30 minutes, the closer I thought I was, the farther away I actually was.
This was the second time I’ve taken this hike. Both times were excellent opportunities to use the challenge as a metaphor for life. You got to keep climbing, even when your legs are tired. Sit down, chill, get centered, relax, then get back up and go all the way to the top.
Watching my step as I climbed up, the narrow trail on soft earth and rock. My hiking boot sinking a bit as I try to get a foot hold. Up and up as the trail snakes back and forth in a steep and angry way. Can I just be done I thought again. Who says I have to go to the top, I can turn around anytime I want to. No, too close to quit now. I don't care about the sun, I’ll go back in the dark if I have to.
I got to the top and surveyed the vast panorama that is Los Angeles. I thought to myself, I’ll own you bitch, this city will be mine. Dreams!? I got your fucking dreams hanging. I felt good, like I had accomplished something. I took a drink of water, then turned around. I needed to pick up the pace a bit as the sun was going down behind the mountains. This was not hard to do, because steep goes both ways. It was tough climbing, but now I was having trouble slowing down. A wipe out in this jagged jungle could prove disasters. There were points where a gentle downward stretch would turn upward. It was then that I opened up, running full speed down the trail with the upward slope to slow me down. I stretched out my legs as I ran and it felt good.
As I trudged down the slope, life started to go in slow motion. The sun was setting, leaving a palette of colors ranging from yellow, to orange, to purple, to blue and white streaking the sky. I was at peace. My head was where it was supposed to be. . . right on my neck. I walked and walked and slipped and slide and went down that mountain side all the while enjoying the most fantastic of sun sets .
I will take more of these hikes in an attempt to clear my thinking, get in tune and exercise. I want to figure it out. I will figure it out.