By Jen Gendron: Health & Wellness Coach
When was the last time you took yourself out of your comfort zone? Is there a challenge that you would like to embark on in your life?
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to step WAY outside of mine! I took on a challenge with ten other amazing and strong women that challenged all of us well beyond what we were even expecting.
When we began talking about climbing Mt. Katahdin a couple of years ago, I knew it would be a challenge and that it would be a strenuous climb but I did not realize just how much it would push me to dig deep inside of myself and find a strength I didn’t know I had. Taking a journey like this one is not only a physical challenge, but a mental and emotional one as well. On the descent, you get to the point where you literally don’t think you can take one more step but you know you have to because there is no other way down. You also have a lot of time on a 12 hour plus climb to ponder many things and it is a chance for some pretty deep reflection. Out in the woods, surrounded by nature all around and supported and encouraged by amazing women gives the opportunity to really spend some time in thought. We have been off that mountain for four days now and I continue to spend time just thinking quietly to myself about what an accomplishment it was and what it represented for me in my life.
The last year has been filled with many struggles for me – physically, mentally and emotionally as I have wrestled with health issues and work issues that have been hard to deal with and hard to face. Climbing Mt. Katahdin for me represented so much more than pushing myself through my current physical limitations but also, pushing myself through a lot of mental blocks that have been weighing me down for months. My goal as I climbed, surrounded by an incredible group of women who’s energy could be felt all around me, was to release a lot of these weights at the top of that mountain and I thought a lot about that throughout the climb.
This journey for me was a struggle but it was a struggle that was worth each and every step. In life, we are surrounded by struggles and challenges and often times, we let them get the better of us and lately, I have been doing just that. They weigh us down in ways we don’t even realize – holding us back from our full potential or getting in the way of change. Making this climb was for me, a chance to reflect on what these things are for me and to begin to open up to the possibility of releasing them and moving forward. Change is hard, just like climbing, but if you want to get to the top of the mountains in your life, it is necessary nonetheless.
While climbing a mountain may not be something that is on your bucket list right now, there must be something you have thought about doing that you have maybe resisted, worrying it might be too hard or push you too much. If there is something that you have been considering doing, I encourage you to think about what is standing in your way, to spend some time thinking about what your “mountain” is and how you can begin to take it on or move it out of the way. Surround yourself with people who will support you and take that very first step. On our climb, our t-shirts said it all – “Strong Women Lift Each Other Up”. I will be forever grateful to the strong women who have supported me along my journey and look forward to where it leads. I hope that you will consider taking the first step that will lead you on a journey all your own – it is worth the climb.