2020.07 Courageous July, About Me, Encouragement, Hope Joy, Recommendations


My family is freshly returned from two glorious weeks in Michigan’s “better-half”. It’s been over a decade since I’ve been to the U.P. and I had not realized how much I needed to return. There is just something magical about Lake Superior that refills my soul unlike anything else (except perhaps for canoeing on the Au Sable about an hour south of the bridge). I’ve only been there four, maybe five times in my life, but my heart always feels like it is coming home.

My physical self has been more than a little challenging for the last few years. I have quite a few new physical limits that have destroyed my confidence. For a long time I have been afraid of pushing myself too hard and being unable to recover from the inevitable crash. But over the last two weeks I was determined not to hold back. I pushed myself to my absolute limit without fear of crashing because I had my wonderful family there to help me through. Yes, there were daily naps, and no, I did not do it all and did not really pull my weight around the campsite (THANK YOU MOM!). I am learning to rest (which is why I am writing on Tuesday evening instead of Monday morning) and learning to accept the help that is offered.

But the biggest thing I got from my trip was a huge dose of self confidence. I did things that two months ago I would have sat out because of fear. I completed 8 hikes, which brings me to 15 hikes towards 100 since my Vestibular Schwannoma diagnosis last August. Most of these hikes were more challenging than anything I’ve attempted in quite some time. I swam in Lake Michigan wearing a bikini (despite the fact that I’ve been gaining 2 pounds a month for the last 15 months). I climbed and explored. I LIVED.

I wish I could bottle this up and send it to each and every one of you, but the best I can do is give you a few nuggets of wisdom to help build your confidence so you could all know how amazing you really are!

If you are interested in embracing your wild side and pushing your limits, I would recommend checking out the Hiker Babes community. I love their 100 Hike Challenge. There are no requirements for hike difficulty or length, or a time frame for completion, because it is all about your personal journey.

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