A few weeks ago, our family took a hike on the Butternut trail in Worlds End State Park in central Pennsylvania. My daughter, her husband, my son, my husband, myself, and our grand dog, Juno, were all staying with my husband’s parents for the weekend. To take advantage of the beautiful day and scenery in the area, I suggested we all take a hike. I also wanted to give my father in law some time to rest, as he was not feeling so well that weekend. Thanks to google, we were easily able to find a list of local trails. Since my husband knew how to get to Worlds End in Forksville, PA, and the distance was what we figured would be just perfect given the time of day, we settled on the Butternut trail.
Perusal of the trail map before leaving the house had my mother in law give warning. “That’s going to be a very steep trail. I can tell by the elevation.” Eager to get going before we lost any more daylight hours, I replied, “No worries. We can always turn back if it gets too steep.”
The walk to the trailhead from the parking lot was flat and beautiful and at least one third of a mile (maybe half), running along the side of the Loyalsock creek. Once we reached the Butternut trailhead, we saw the elevation my mother in law was talking about. So, we all started up the steep incline, eager to see the beautiful vista the trail description boasted about. Before we even reached the top of the first hill, my breathing was labored, my head started to hurt, and I had to remove my jacket. My son was certain at this point, he had not worn the right shoes for this terrain, and my son-in-law had an aching back. It would have been fine with me to turn back at this point. My mind was chattering in the background saying that this was much more than I could handle-enough walking for the day so I said to everybody, “Why don’t we just turn back now!”
My daughter, up ahead of us all, shouts out “Come on Mom, COMMIT!”
At that point, it was if there was a power switch that was turned on in my head. I am going to do this! The biochemical reaction that goes along with each thought had switched from water to Red Bull and I was now determined to complete this hike. And I did. Between the incline, narrow trails on the edge of a steep drop, and a rocky decline, it was one of the toughest trails I think we all had ever taken.
If you don’t have a phrase that gets you supercharged when you feel like you can’t complete what you set out to do and are wavering on the edge of quitting, you can use my daughter’s words. She, after all, had gotten them from her fitness instructor and they gave me/us the power to carry on.