Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I Thought of Cheryl and Pushed On

Have you read the memoir, "Wild," by Cheryl Strayed? It's about her quest to hike the Pacific Coast Trail - by herself - when she was in her 20s. She planned the trip pretty well. She had packed resupply boxes and left them with a friend to mail to towns along the way. She packed PLENTY of gear in her monster backpack. But in reality, she wasn't prepared for such a daunting task. Challenges pursued her relentlessly, yet she kept putting one foot in front of the other as she tried to reach her goal.

I haven't done anything quite that challenging, but I did have to pull from the book last Sunday when my husband and I went kayaking on a lake. Silly me did not wear sunscreen; I thought the chance of rain would keep the sky cloudy. And while we had a little head wind on our way to the other side of the lake, the tail wind I was expecting wasn't there when we made our return trip back to the dock. 

It was a big lake.
And I was hot.
And my arms were tired as I paddled my way across the lake.

That was when I thought about Cheryl Strayed and how she tackled that trail. Sometimes you have to dig deep and sometimes you have to dig even deeper to get where you're going. You have to quiet the voice in your head - you know, the negative one that tries to tell you that something is too hard or difficult to accomplish. Instead, you have to tell yourself that this, too, can be done.

My challenge was rowing across a lake. I got sunburned. Nothing else. But it still helped to think about Cheryl and how she propelled herself forward day after day.

If you haven't read 'Wild,' you might want to give it a look. You won't want the journey to end. I promise.

Here are a few photographs I took on my little kayaking adventure. (Oh, and while kayaking in a lake keeps the whole put-in, take-out car puzzle simple, I will never again take the flow of a river for granted!)

He was taking a photograph, too

His view:

I think he's developing quite an eye for this!



beth said...

your poor sunburn...but good for you for looking for and finding the strength you needed !!!

we kayaked once, down a river that was too low and we kept getting stuck. it was awful and long and i was tired and thirsty and unlike you, i complained.

thanks for the inspiration !!!

Roban said...

Beth, I probably would have complained if Craig had been closer! I think he planned the distance that separated us carefully. I wanted to give up. The few times I stopped made me quickly realize that the shore wasn't going to get any closer on its own!

Kelly said...

Sunburns are the worst and that IS a big lake. Isn't it awesome that we can find that place to shut the negative voice up!!?? Yeah u!

Daniel LaFrance said...

Well... ya coulda, and maybe ya shoulda next time. :)