I canoed over 45 miles in five days! (Try walking one mile on your hands….) I enjoyed the people I was with and the challenge before us. Many days were cold and rainy. Some days were nice and sunny. I needed to be a role model of cheerfulness and perseverance for all of the days.
Three weeks later I was in Moab, Utah hiking up the two miles to see the famous Delicate Arch. It was over 100 degrees. “You go on ahead,” I said to my husband and son half way up. “I’ve seen it. I’ll just wait here.”
I wondered what the difference was between the two trips. On the canoe trip, the longest I portaged was a half mile. I never once felt like giving up. Of course, that wasn’t even an option. Since the arch hike was a round trip, I could just wait until they circled back toward the parking lot. Could knowing I could give up make it easier for me?
On the canoe trip, I carried a 40-50 pound back pack along the trail. On the arch trail, the heaviest thing I carried was a water bottle. It should have been easier to finish, not harder. The arch trail was much steeper than the canoe trail, but the canoe trail was more technical with rocks and roots to dodge. I would say the steepness made it harder than the technical portion of the trail.
The more I thought about it, the more I think it boiled down to two things- temperature and attitude. It was over 100 degrees compared to 70 or 75 degrees. At 100 degrees, very little seemed worth the effort. That certainly affected my attitude. But my attitude was affected even more by the fact that I was with family.
With family, I didn’t have to put on a happy face and pretend to like to sweat. I could be my most honest self and say, “You go ahead, you are stronger than I am and that’s ok.” Is it a good thing that they let me get by with less? Is it a good thing that that we didn’t have to worry about everyone else’s spirits and keep them motivated? Why don’t we give our family our best? Why don’t we push for the very best from them? Is our home a place to rest or a place for our best?