This is what I learned on Monday:
It is good to have someone with you on the journey.
It is good to get to the top, but it is not enough.
I’ll crawl on my hands and knees to get where I’m going if necessary.
Joe Jordan agreed to go with me to climb Pinnacle. At 8:15 in the morning, and for a 20 year old guy that is a big deal. Joe is the Chief Instructor at LRMA, has been with me since he was 9, and is one of my favorite people in the whole world.
It was COLD again. I had four shirts on, polar fleece jacket, gloves, and boots with two pairs of socks. I thought about bringing some ear muffs but I thought that might be a little much. It was 32 degrees, and windy.
We get to the park, I’m getting my iphone arranged so I can use the ear buds, and I look over at Joe and he is TAKING HIS JEANS OFF! He is wearing a hoodie, shorts, tennis shoes. Did I mention that it was COLD?
He saw the look of horror on my face as I’m looking at his legs. (Not that there is anything wrong with his legs, it’s just that it was COLD. I asked him if he was sure he wanted to wear shorts. His reply was that he had a layer of fur on his legs and he would be fine. Okaaaaaaay. Off we went.
We took a different trail than I had taken on Saturday. I’m still confused about which one. It was easier, felt longer, but still had all those darn rocks at the top.
Joe was like a darn mountain goat. He is balancing, jumping, practically skipping from one rock to another going up. He had his hands in his pockets the whole time.
Me? I’m looking for every tree I can find to hang on to. I’m using rocks to hold on to. I’m stopping and really thinking about how to get from rock A to rock B several times.
Joe was kind enough to stop so that I could “enjoy the view” a couple of times. Enjoying the view also allowed me to catch my breath and gather up my courage to keep going. Darn I hate those rocks.
We made it to the top. It was COLD. Beautiful view, great sense of satisfaction.
While I was looking forward to going down the mountain from a physical standpoint, I was dreading it from a fear factor. There is something about seeing which way I would fall that gets my heart rate up. Would be nice if the park rangers that built that trail would make ALL of the rocks nice and flat.
So picture this. We are going down the rocky part of the mountain, and Joe still has his darn hands in his pockets and he is hopping from rock to rock.
Me? I kept thinking of the time when my daughter Keely stepped onto a swinging bridge at a playground. She immediately dropped to her hands and knees and crawled across the bridge. I was doubled over in laughter watching her. She didn’t care what I thought, or anyone else for that matter, she was going to crawl rather than walk. Because her feet did not seem to be enough.
I also remembered the way my kids would scoot on their bottoms going down stairs when they were young.
The reason I was thinking about this was because that is exactly what I was doing. And I didn’t care how stupid I looked. A few times I crawled. Several times I scooted down on my butt. Whatever I had to do to have more than just my feet in contact with something stable and solid.
I still did have a little bit of pride left. So whenever I would see someone coming up or down the trail, I would very politely step aside and sit on a rock while they passed me. Enjoying the view you know.
To his credit, Joe never laughed. I think he was smiling a lot when I couldn’t see him, but he didn’t laugh. Which is why I love him.
This is what I learned:
It is better to have someone on the journey with you. I knew that Joe would help if I had a problem. We laughed and joked, talked. He led part of the way, I led part of the way. I showed him my fear and he didn’t laugh. He understood. He waited for me. I knew he had my back, he knew I had his.
We all need someone on the journey with us. To laugh with, to hold our hand over some of the rough patches, to lead the way sometimes, to let us be in front sometimes. Joe was that person for me on Pinnacle. I have so many other wonderful people in my life that do the same. By participating in UBBT Team 6 I’m trying to be that person for others.
It is good to get to the top, but it is not enough. Wow, the view is awesome. We completed the journey. We accomplished our goal. We both felt good about that. Then we started planning the next time. Working towards doing it faster. Joe want’s to run up the mountain. I want to work towards doing the climb with no hands and no stopping. So even though we accomplished our goal, we were already working out ways to challenge ourselves the next time. There has to be another goal, another mountain.
Some of us climb the mountain just once. Some people never even try to climb the mountains in life, they just stay on the safe, level flat land. But some of us recognize that the view is worth the climb. The risk is worth the reward. There is something in us that won’t stop trying to improve the climb.
I’ll crawl on my hands and knees to get where I’m going if necessary. I had to let go of my pride to get to the top, as well as to get back down that mountain. As competitive as I am, the fear overwhelmed my pride and I scooted and crawled. And the fact that Joe could jump from rock to rock was great, but I wasn’t there just yet. And yes, I have a metal hip and the other hip needs surgery, but that wasn’t the big problem. The big problem is that I don’t trust my balance or my ability to navigate some of those stretches of rock, even though I had some one right in front of me doing it.
How many times have I let Ego and Pride keep me from doing something? If I have to crawl a little while others walk or even jump, at least I’m on the mountain and I’m moving forward.
UBBT is my mountain this year. I’ve got some great people here in Little Rock on the journey with me, our Little Rock Martial Arts UBBT Team. More people that I’ve never met on UBBT Team 6.
I’m visualizing the view from the top. And already planning for the challenge after that, whatever it may be. But I won’t stop with just one peak.
There will be some crawling and scooting in my life this year. I’m putting my ego in my pocket and asking for help. I’m walking over rocks already that are pretty darn scary, but I’ll get there whatever it takes.
Friday morning. 8:15. Joe, Frank, Jennifer J and Jennifer S will be climbing Pinnacle. That’s after our 5:30 am workout.
Doesn’t Joe look COLD?