Doug and I were in Vermont over the weekend and we completed two hikes. The hike we chose on Saturday was the Weathersfield Trail on Mount Ascutney. The description of the hike included: heavily traveled trail with a roundtrip distance of 6 miles, rated moderate in terms of difficulty, and an elevation gain of 2,263 feet. That seemed like something we’d enjoy so we filled the backpack with water bottles and energy bars and set out to tackle this mountain.
Holy Smokes! This hike didn’t mess around. Right out of the gates we were headed uphill. Switchbacks are not a thing on this hike; the entire climb is straight up. At one point, I looked at Doug and asked, “Who decided this was ‘moderate,’ because I think I want to smack them.” If you need a frame of reference, imagine climbing an incredibly rocky and disproportionate set of stairs for about 2 straight hours (and 2 more back down). Eventually, we got to the top, and it was worth it! There are a number of vistas and each one is better than the next. And the view from the firetower at the summit is incredible.
On Monday, my thighs and calves were still whimpering, but I reminded myself that we chose that path—for better or worse—we chose it. The same is true in life, almost always, we get to chose our path. I’m not judging the hard path or the easy path, I’m simply reminding us that we get to choose. Doug and I chose the hike and at any point we could have turned around. No one can immediately extract themselves from a path they no longer want to be on, but with time and intention, we all can switch to an easier path. Today, ask yourself: “What decision could I make today that would help get me to an easier path?” It doesn’t have to be hard, it really doesn’t. Sometimes we just make it so.
P.S. We found out later, there was an easier path to the top.