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A Hiker's Tale: We Can Do More Than We Realize


After moving to the mountains in 2016, there was a difficult hike I tried to do and couldn’t finish. With an abundance of confidence that day, I added an extra loop around a lake and depleted my water supply. About a mile from completing the 9 mile trek, I had to get a friend to pick me (and my deflated ego) up as I sat on the side of the road in despair.


Well, I finally did it! Being much better prepared with proper supplies and a humble attitude, Mark and I decided we would start the hike and go as far as we could. We would enjoy the views and take our time.


We stopped and took a break on a small wooden bridge that crossed a shallow stream. Mark and I were both in pain and didn’t know if we could continue. It was brutal. When we were about two miles from completing the hike and complaining about how hard it was, a family of five came along heading down the trail to play in the creek. Their young son that looked to be about six or seven was hiking with them and he had no legs. He was using his arms to propel his small body over the roots and rocks. The smile on his face was ear to ear. They also had a dog with no back legs that had an attached cart to maneuver. We all shouted “hello” enthusiastically. They were all so happy and enjoying their time together. After they passed, we just stood in silence as tears began to fill our eyes. This kid became our instant hero. He wasn’t complaining or doubting his ability.


What I do know is that we can do more than we realize. I’ve heard so many Appalachian Trail thru-hikers say that 90% of the 2,200 mile hike is mental. I get it. I can do whatever I believe I can do, It’s just that often times I don’t think I’m capable so I give up or don’t push myself. So glad I pushed through on this day. Honestly, I don’t think I would have without encountering this family. It amazes me how God sends angels along to teach me a lesson or give me the motivation I need to keep going.

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