A Moment

I sat here, thinking of a moment. Lots of my life's moments flashed through my mind. I wanted to choose a moment that would mean something, give you a glimpse into who I am. I shroud myself in a lot of mystery and when I'm given a free shot to pull some of that back, I try to take advantage.

So I need to share a moment...

Sitting on top of Avalanche Peak in the Rocky Mountains.

My high school offers what's called the Jim Pierce Leadership trip, which at the time was intended to reward and highlight students who were leaders in the school, but may have gone unnoticed. It was a big deal to be chosen for this trip, as you were nominated by faculty and fellow students and then chosen by a faculty panel. It was an even bigger honor to be chosen as a sophomore (as I was). The trip is a 10-day stint in Colorado, including a final summit 14,000+ feet in the air to Avalanche Peak. Aware of this, I was wary of going. When I got my letter letting me know I'd been chosen, I all but decided I wasn't going to go.

The next day, I was trying to decide how to tell all the faculty I knew would be disappointed that I didn't want to go when I ran into the then-BFF (she and I weren't close at the time, in fact it was the trip that brought us closer) who had also been notified that she'd been selected. She implored me to go. I had to go because she didn't want to be alone.

It was a hard trip from almost day 1. I'd camped before and done a little hiking, but never hiked in mountains of this level with a pack on my back with all the things you need to camp for 10 days. I was in ok shape, but I was absolutely unprepared for the combination of extreme physical exertion and high altitudes. Every day was a struggle to get through, but I found myself enjoying the beautiful sights and getting to know some classmates. Even so, I was dreading that final hike to the top of Avalanche Peak. We'd been warned that it would be super difficult and a long hike.

We were to awaken before sunrise in an attempt to make it to the top in time to see the sun come up. I barely slept that night, between the entire camp being restless and my own nerves. As I had through most of the trip, I hung at the back of the group. My mindset volleyed between being sure I'd never make it to the top and being determined to do it. The last hundred or so feet were the worst. We were past the tree line, it was all rocks and my already injured ankles and knees were on fire. Right when I thought to myself, "my body is about to quit," I looked up and saw the summit, and most of my fellow trippers, ahead. When I sat down and wrapped myself in a sleeping bag all I could do was smile. I don't know if you've ever pushed your body beyond it's limits and been surprised at what it did, but that was my moment: sitting at the top of Avalanche Peak, watching the sunrise and being very proud of myself.

1 comment:

Solomon said...

Nice story! I always like a happy ending. I'm still waiting for my happy ending. Maybe some day.

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