Overcoming Challenges

Taylor - Cypress, Texas
Entered on November 10, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that if you push yourself, you really can achieve what you think is impossible. I discovered this truth two years ago, when I was part of a week long backpacking trip in New Mexico. My group had been hiking for about five days so far but my mind was on tomorrow. On the sixth day my group would hike up Mt. Phillips, which was a 2000 ft. change in elevation. I had already been tested before, but I had no idea what that hike would be like. Seeing as I would lead the group up, I had anxieties constantly enter my mind. Would I be able to hike up? Would I let the team down?

Only tomorrow would I find out.

I woke up the next day, excited for the day’s hike. I would be in the lead, and would set the pace for the people behind me. The beginning was the roughest part. The mountain was very steep and everyone became tired rather quickly. I had to keep pushing, even if I wanted to stop. It is bad for your legs to stop on an incline, so the group had to keep moving until the terrain became relatively flat. Even with 35 pounds of gear weighing me down, I knew I had to keep going. I kept telling myself that I must keep going, everyone else was going, if they could keep going, I could too. As I slogged upwards, I passed people on their way down. Seeing those people go down gave me the confidence to go up. They were ordinary people like me, and they all accomplished their goals. As I approached the crest of the mountain, the grade became less severe. A feeling of accomplishment washed over me as I realized the top was near. The view at the top was the icing on the cake. I could see for miles around, I could even see mountains that were in Colorado in the distance. The sky was a brilliant blue, with a large cloud a couple miles off. I took all of this in, with the feeling of being on top of the world.

I learned a lot that day, probably more that day than the whole week. I realized that many challenges in life may seem daunting, hopeless, or impossible, but they really can be overcome. I learned that only when you push yourself will you find the strength that you never knew you had. Now, every time a new challenge appears, I don’t focus on how demanding it will be, or how long it might be to the finish. I focus on accomplishing the goals I set out before me.