Pay the Mountain to See the View

The Appalachian Trail is approximately 2,200 miles and covers the span of 14 states from its official southern terminus at Springer Mountain, GA to the tips of Katahdin at the northern terminus. The estimated time to complete a thru-hike is 5-7 months.

Out of approximately 3,330 thru hikers, only 20% complete the full hike.

The experience can be brutal…whether dealing with cold, wintry, blustery conditions, the heat, humidity and thunderstorms during the summer, the snakes, the ticks, the bears, the lack of food or water, smelly people (including the stench from yourself), relieving yourself in the woods (oh my), the treacherous terrain with steep hand over hand climbs in New Hampshire and Maine – the list goes on.

What drives these brave souls to step out and sacrifice literally blood, sweat and tears along with separation from family and jobs and the expense to do this?

As the puts it:

“Walking the entire A.T. in a continuous journey is one of the most rewarding, exhilarating, and memorable ways you can spend six months of your life. Thru-hiking enables you to immerse yourself deeply in the natural world and view some of the most beautiful, wild and pastoral landscapes in the United States. Thru-hiking will also give you the opportunity to form friendships with people of all ages, from all walks of life, and from around the world.”

What are the rewards? The beauty of the hike and the exhilaration of accomplishing this tremendous feat. As someone said, “You’ve got to pay the mountain to see the view.” Each day is different. Some days are great and some days aren’t. You learn to enjoy the good days the trail gives you and adapt when it doesn’t so that you overcome those challenges. Just like life.

What is going through these hikers’ minds as they approach the beginning of their journey? Excitement? Anticipation? Confidence? Determination? Or is it, “Oh, goodness, what have I gotten myself into!!!?”

Each of them have prepared and know what lies ahead. Each of them are approaching the trail in their own way. Each of them hike their own hike.

How do you approach your trail in life? With confidence and determination? Or with fear and trepidation?

For motivation to live your hike with excitement, give me a shout.

Finding Something You Love

Have you ever lost something that you loved and found it again?  If so, do you remember the thrill, the relief, the excitement of finding that lost thing that you cherished?

A few years ago, we lost our cat, Casper – the white cat with one green eye and one blue eye (eyes just like me).  She is an indoor cat and loves to go out on the deck to soak in the sunshine.  Her ears perk up at all of the sights and sounds around her environment.  Because I know she loves it so much outside, one day I let her out on the deck and walked away to do other things.  When it came time to leave for another engagement, I shut the deck door (assuming Casper was inside) and didn’t give it another thought.  To my horror, when I woke up the next morning, Casper was nowhere to be found.  I started replaying all of the events in my head.  What happened the previous day – what were my steps – what could have gone wrong?  Then realized – I had shut the deck door without checking if Casper was in or not.

In full panic mode – we searched for our beloved Casper for three full days.  On the last day, I was ready to give up the search, being tired from posting fliers, knocking on doors, walking, riding my bike yelling out her name.  Then as I was about to give up, a dear friend told me to keep searching, keep looking, because today could be the day.  And guess, what?  It was!  We found her huddled underneath a shed…scared, lonely, frightened, a little dirty, a little beat up – and HAPPY that her humans found her!

Tears of relief, joy, happiness and ultimate love streamed down my face as I picked her up and put her in my arms.

Perhaps you are searching for something you love.  Perhaps you have lost something and want to find it again.  Perhaps you know there is something else out there – something that will bring you passion and joy in your life.  Often times, we have the tendency to give up too soon to find it.  Your passion is waiting for you to embrace it!  Keep pursuing your dream!  Keep pursuing your passion!  It does take a lot of hard work, a lot of sweat, a lot of hustle to find it.  And when you do – the joy of finding it is amazing.

If you want to find that thing you love that is missing in your life, I want to be your partner in getting you there.  Let’s bring your passion into being.  Contact me at Amy@SolidGroundCareerCoaching.Com

My Day at the Cemetery

Dedicated to the lives lost in the Las Vegas Shooting

Waking up early one morning, I felt an overwhelming sense to get out and experience life.  Occasionally those days are very present with a desire to explore some place new.

My desire to experience life lead me to an unexpected place.  It lead me to a place where people usually go to mourn those that are no longer with us…or at least that’s how I have always thought of a cemetery.

Going to the cemetery, I didn’t really know what to expect.  I mean, I wanted to experience “life”, right? Why go somewhere where you are surrounded by those that are not living?

The day’s journey led to the Lexington Cemetery, somewhere others have talked about as being a beautiful and serene place.  And by visiting this place, I did experience life in its truest form.

The Lexington Cemetery is one of the most beautiful places in Central Kentucky.  It is over 170 acres and has over 200 species of trees on the grounds. Walking those grounds, I felt the aliveness of those trees. Many tall and sturdy, as if they had been there hundreds of years. The blooms on the trees were rich and vibrant in color. The birds, many in specie as well, were singing their songs of delight, as they too seek to experience a beautiful life.

Nature – life in its truest form.

Nature’s beauty spoke to me.  And guess what else?  The peacefulness of spirit among those graves spoke to my spirt, as well.  As I walked around the different trails and looked at all the headstones, I read some of the names — when these people were born, when they died, and wondered just what kind of life they had.  What did they experience?  What did they love in life while they were living?

As I reflected, I realized we are not promised tomorrow and to live life in every moment. As a car went past, the license plate simply read “luvlife”.  What an amazing statement.  It made me ask myself how much I really loved life and what I can do to make life better for myself and for those around me.

Walking in the cemetery, I was able to experience so many moments of being alive!  What a gift!

As tragedy and heartache hits us – whether it be from natural disasters or senseless acts of “unkindness”, how do you want to live your life so that you fully embrace it?  What are you putting off to live a life of passion?  How do you want to be alive in this world?