Nah, not the video game.
Atop the peak I stood. Exhausted, exhilarated. A strong gust pushed my back and for a split second I regretted assuming a victory pose. My legs were quick enough to react, luckily, and I kept myself from tumbling into the foggy abyss below. My journey up had been quite lengthy the adventure. The good first two thirds may have been spent attempting to find the trailhead, but that didn’t mean it was any less intensive. The way down was going to be even more fun, now that the cold winds were getting to me.
It’s one thing to go hiking a mountain trail. It’s another entirely to do so while forgetting to bring food to burn and clothing to provide shelter from the winds. The fact that clouds had swallowed the peaks and ran wild over the ridges didn’t make this any better. It was a little bit miserable.
But what is comfort without discomfort? What is life without a challenge, be it physical, mental, or both? The winds pushed me around, chilled my core, but I kept going. The fire in my heart kept me warm, the excitement of the situation kept me going. Thirteen miles I conquered, finding admiration for the forces of nature, discovering confidence in myself to push against them without disrespecting.
And still, I was happy to be back. Happy to give my tired walkers a well-deserved rest.