Saturday, April 15, 2006

Life's Adventures

I have been laying in bed for over two hours staring at the ceiling. I have way too many things on my mind that are disturbing me. The details I won't get into, but I have been having a pretty crapy week. While I was laying there trying to get over a few things, figure a few things out, and tring to learn what lesson I should be learning from all of this I started to think about a mountain biking trip I once took. Some how thinking about this trip helped me learn a few things.

My husband and I used to be really into mountain biking. We used to go almost every Saturday morning. We still love it and talk about it all spring and summer long. But that is all that we have done for the past few years is just talk about it. With two kids now, it is a little harder to go do something like riding your bike down crazy trails. I think that once the snow melts we will be heading up there. I hope anyway.

One year my brother, my sister, my husband, and I decided that we were going to try to Wasatch Crest Trail [Click the link and it will show you pictures, but if you scroll down the page a little it will show you a map. That way you can get a better picture of how crazy this trail is.] It is about 26 miles long and goes from one side of the Salt Lake Valley, into Park City, and out on another side of the Salt Lake Valley. We started in Big Cottonwood Canyon by Brighton Ski Resort. A few miles down the trail is a hill called Puke Hill. This hill is named this for a really good reason. It is a VERY steep hill and has pretty soft dirt. (at the top the altitude is about 9900 feet.) You have to be in extremely good shape to make it to the top of this hill even if you are walking, let alone with your bike. I have never been one to be in very good shape so this was a challenge for me. I remember complaining and cussing the entire way up. (Which felt like hours) I was slipping down the hill while walking my bike to the top. I felt like with every couple of steps I would take one step back. I wanted to turn around so bad. My family was ahead of me and kept encouraging me to keep going, and telling me that I was doing a great job. Finally I made it!

Here is where I want to add how this part of the journey helped me while trying to sort things out tonight. While going through life we will sometimes have our huge hills to climb. It will seem like it is impossible to reach the top. It will be tough along the way, and we will struggle to make it. You will always have your reasons why you want to turn back, but there will also always be people that have climbed that hill before encouraging you to keep going. They will tell you the great and wonderful things that you have done alone the way. If we keep trying and never give up we will make it! Then we can look down the hill and see how we have grown.

After Puke Hill there was a long stretch of trail that went across the ridge between the Salt Lake Valley and Park City. It was beautiful, with lots of wild flowers and trees. It was a nice and flat ride too. Nothing too crazy. Just as I was getting used to it, there was yet another challenge to overcome. I saw a bunch of people stopped and getting off their bike and putting them on their shoulders. I didn't really know what was going on until I got closer. The trail went across this small rocky ridge that was no more than a couple of feet wide. The catch was that on either side were cliffs that dropped about 100 feet. Most people were too scared to ride over this. So one at a time people would walk with their bikes on their shoulders over this ridge. My husbad had already gone across and then it came my turn. I was scared to death! I was so afraid that I was going to slip and fall off this path and go tumbling down either cliff. So what did my sweet husband do? He put his bike down, hiked back across to carry my bike for me so I could climb across with out it. (what a sweetie!)

Here again is another lesson that I learned tonight. When you think that life is going smooth and easy there will most likely be some type of trial ahead. One that if you don't walk carefully through, you may slip and fall and get hurt. If you take it easy and one step at a time you can make it through ok. Once again, there will be someone there to hold your hand and guide you through. These trials are hard, and they are scary, but in the end you can look back and see the clear path. You may even see people that need your helping hand. Reach back and help them through. Your experiences are there to not only help you, but to help others too.

Shortly after that we were on the decend onto the Mill Creek Trail. Down hill is the BEST! I love it because you get to go fast, and jump down the natural steps in the tree stumps and rocks. On this day there were lots of mud puddles to go jumping in too! It was so much fun! We made it through that canyon in no time at all. We wrode all the way to one of our cars that was parked at the mouth of the canyon. I remember getting off my bike and being so tired after riding for hours that I laid down on the sidewalk. While laying on the sidewalk it started to rain. Just a little bit. It was a warm rain, and it felt so good to just lay there and let it rain on me. It was refreshing.

Last lesson of the journey. There is times in life that we get to be rewarded for all our hard work. Going fast down hill is the small reward for all the hard work peddaling uphill. I am not saying that once we reach the top that we will fall back down. We need to look at life like a mountain range. It is never just up and down. There are hills and ridges, and cliffs, and valleys. They continue up and down for as far as the eye can see. We work hard to go up, to overcome the trials that are on our path. We should be able to enjoy coming down too. To see what we have learned. To be gratefull that we were given the new light on things, that we were shown a different side of life. Things aren't always going to be easy, but they aren't always going to be rough either. We need to hang in there and try to learn from every trial and every mistake. And most importantly we should try to reach out to those that are trying to help.

Sorry this post is so long. I really needed to write it to find my own strength in the trials that I am facing now. Thank you all for baring with me through it!


EngineeringNerd said...

Well said shannon, have a better weekend ok!

Katkat said...

That was an amazing post. Very uplifting.Thanks for sharing it. And I hope you week gets brighter. Happy Easter!

Muncey said...

One thing really amazed me that day. Do you remember all of the people on that very same trail that day?

Here we were far away from any running water, electricity, etc. and yet there was a ton of people on the trail.

I remember that same ridge being full of people heading in both directions (up and down).

I had never seen that much traffic on a single trail in my life.

The other nice thing was that we weren't in a hurry. We took our time, enjoyed what we were experiencing and didn't try to race to the finish line.

It made for one of the best biking days I've ever had.

Suzanne said...

Oh my. I am so moved by this post, I'm about to cry. If you've read my know I'm going through a very hard time also. I LOVE LOVE LOVE what you had to say. thank you so much for sharing. I may print this post just so I have a reminder that I am not alone & that things will get better.
You'll be in my prayers.

Jody said...

Good stuff here- even if it is lengthy. Hope you have a better week this week. Thanks for reading Nitty.Gritty. so much and always leaving sweet comments! See ya around. Ciao for now~

trisha said...

wow! great post! good lesson learne I might add. And you have every point in detail to back it up at that!