So earlier today, I hiked a mountain with my friend…and threw up. My friend was long ahead at this point, desperate to get to the top which left me helpless a few minutes away from a pretty amazing view of God’s creation.
It all started last night when I decided that a Wendy’s frosty would be a good dinner. Then, this morning when I decided that I only needed a bit of oatmeal to get through the day. Then, on the way out the door, when I opted to stay in my leggings instead of taking my mom’s advice to change into shorts. Then at the bottom of the hill, when my friend and I decided to walk up the shortest trail, assuming it would be the quickest. We figured it wouldn’t get too steep.
About 10 minutes in, we both had peeled our darkened-with-sweat shirts off our bodies and stuffed them into my bag. 15 minutes in, my friend was finding energy I didn’t seem to have. I attributed it to my lack of exercise in the past few weeks and my rather declining diet for the past few days. Oh, and the heat.
There was a father and his older son on the trail near us. As we got up the steeper part—so steep it had stairs—they began playing a game of leap frog with us on the trail, one passing the other only to be passed a few steps later. We joked a bit about the trail, as we climbed.
But then I started realizing my friend was getting further and further away. When she was a good flight of stairs higher than me, she turned back and said, “I’m just going to go on ahead, is that okay?”
I nodded through my staggering breaths and she bounced on out of view. The son and his father stayed with me, despite my insistence that they didn’t need to. And, I’m glad they did for just a few minutes later I was throwing up from heat stroke. So much for oatmeal…
The son, who was way more prepared than me, gave me a napkin and a Gatorade, instructing me to take small sips. The dad went up the last flight or so of stairs and got my friend. I looked up at the sign telling me I had reached the top was in view. In fact, I could tell what it said from where I sat.
FROM THIS POINT ON NO RAILINGS ON EDGE.
But I didn’t make any moves towards the stairs taunting me that I could make it a bit further. I just sat and drank the Gatorade as my friend stood next to me, apologizing profusely. The father and son duo went on ahead, wishing me luck for the rest of the trail.
The rest of the trek went smoothly and we made it to the top (and to the bottom) quickly and easily. But, on the way up, I learned a few things:
1) Sometimes you must stop and take a break even though the finish line is in sight, and that’s okay.
2) People will help if you let them.
3) It’s okay to ask for help; you are not weak for doing such.
4) While it is good to push yourself, it is also good to know when to take a break.
5) Prepare, prepare, prepare.
6) Remember that others need help too and they will remember if you help them achieve their goals.
7) Gatorade fixes most problems. And, if not that, prayer.
8) Don’t leave others behind in light of your own ambitions.
9) You can never apologize or say thank you enough. People who help you deserve to be appreciated.