“People Get Held Back By The Voices Inside Them”

July 16, 2006 at 9:30 pm 5 comments

With a few recent exceptions, every hike I go on, at some point I think I can’t make it.  That doubt typically surfaces during an ascent.  :)  For example, last year’s Tinker Cliffs to McAffee’s Knob Hike– I made it up to Tinker’s Cliff fine, but at the halfway point when we started a slight rise right after Brickey’s Gap, a subtle lump rose in my throat, I thought about the path ahead and I wanted to cry. 

McAfee's Knob - Tinker Cliffs

But as with all hikes, I keep going and before I know it, I’m at the top or in sight of my car and I’m ready for a nice Fuddrucker’s hamburger or better yet, some ice cream.

It is my mind that doubts what my body can do!

This knowledge has come in handy in my professional life.  Last July, I had a very hectic travel schedule.  In looking over the back to back itineraries and flights, I thought to myself, “I can’t do this!  It’s impossible!”  Then I remembered all the hikes where a similiar thought crossed my mind.  I took it one trip at a time and like hiking, I drank a lot of water and ate well.  Before I knew it, I was through all my obligations and I had a great deal of fun while I was at it.

Unfortunately, now I’m on to myself.  On five recent hikes (Tinker Cliffs to VA-220, VA-635 to Pine Swamp Shelter, Blackhorse Gap to VA 652, Mount Rogers and Bald Knob), I knew better.  I never thought I couldn’t make it.  But, with Mt. Bierstadt I definitely had my doubts!  Those doubts were a slightly different species, however– they occurred before I even arrived in the state.

When Mike Newman first emailed me the trail info, the elevation gain of 2,850 feet stuck out to me. 

Bierstadt Elevation Profile

Although I had ascended 3000 feet on a hike on an Appalachian Trail, that was spread out over the course of 13 miles.  With Mount Bierstadt, the elevation gain was pretty much compacted to a 2 mile area. 

Anyone who has hiked with me, knows that I am quite slow on the steep inclines and take a lot of breaks.  Add the thin air to the mix, it seemed to be an impossibility.

“It’s like two Angel’s Rests back to back,” I lamented to friends, “with 1/3 the oxygen!”

Enter Mike Newman who was not deterred one bit by my concerns.

“I honestly think you can do it, and you won’t exhaust my patience–you’ll just have to trust me on that one,” he emailed.

It turns out, Mike Newman was correct on both accounts.  As soon as I was on the trail, I was no longer concerned.  And although I was challenged by the rocky, steep sections– there was never a time where I wanted to turn back…and certainly never a time where I wanted to cry.  By the time the trail got hard, the summit was close enough that I knew it was obtainable (though I still reveled in my surprise that I was going to make it).  The whole while, break after break, Mike Newman proved to be a very patient and pleasant companion (He also demonstrated an uncanny ability of estimating the number of paces to the next cairn).  It turned out to be a wonderful, fulfilling day.

If I had listened to my own doubts or let my worry of irritating Mike Newman win out, I would have settled on a very different hike.  I would have missed out.  And ultimately what was I worried about?  I was worried about looking like a wuss.  I would have missed out because I was trying to save face!

This all reminds me of another K’naan quote from The Beginning

People get held back by the voices inside them

I’m glad, thanks to Mike Newman’s encouragement, that I did not fall into that tempting pitfall.

I’m glad that I did not get held back by the voices inside me.

Vicky at Summit!

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Entry filed under: Angel's Rest, Colorado, Hiking, K'naan, McAfee's Knob, Mike Newman, Tinker Cliffs. Tags: .

Rollerblading – 16th State Rocky Mountain National Park and Denver Botanic Gardens

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Great Smokey Mountains: Quick Recap « TGAW  |  October 8, 2006 at 11:45 pm

    [...] The first mile was not the steepest, but it was the most difficult for me and during that difficult period– I did have my hiking doubts that I would make the trek (Refer to “People Get Held Back by the Voices Inside Them“).  However, after that first mile, I think I adjusted to the extra weight or perhaps just built up a little bit of confidence.  From there on, it was smooth sailing. [...]

    Reply
  • 2. Easter: Jesus Beats Death, Larry Beats the M « TGAW  |  April 9, 2007 at 12:59 am

    [...] sound as motivated last night.  “I don’t think I can make it up,” he said, the same misconception I’ve told myself on numerous hikes!  But this time, it was Larry who conquered the M and not the other way around.  On this gorgeous [...]

    Reply
  • 3. Hunter  |  September 27, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    Thanks for the great photos and writing! I just started reading a book by a thru-hiker of the AT, Rick McKinney’s Dead Men Hike No Trails. It really captures so much. I’ve followed rivers, I guess I need to start following some trails too.
    HM

    Reply
  • 4. opdxml kqxsroi  |  September 25, 2008 at 10:00 am

    yhzeakgbw lkxo gdxm ycpsf cealvnz xnqbfskty ufpqr

    Reply
  • 5. Clint  |  September 25, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    ^^ looks like SOMEone couldn’t hold back their inner voices!

    Reply

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