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Take a Hike!

August 01, 2017  /  by  Diane Callihan

An Altitude Adjustment at Glacier Nat’l Park

I recently returned from a great trip to Glacier National Park in Montana. (Yay for our National Parks!)

One day, my husband and I drove the breathtaking and terrifying Going-to-the-Sun Road, and went to Logan’s Pass where we decided to hike the Hidden Lake Trail. This is marked as an “easy” trail, perhaps because it’s only 3 miles long, or perhaps because whoever rates the trails is clinically insane.

(Also, it should be noted, that I’m not as young and fit as I sound, and I have a bad knee. Not that I’m making excuses.)

The first half mile went straight up the mountain via steps. I had my knee brace on, but it was still strenuous, and we were at an altitude of about 6,600 feet.

steps-resized  

Then, like something off the Discovery Channel, we crossed a wide snow plain. It was also all uphill, and very slippery. There were a few spots that were precarious and falling would have been VERY BAD.

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I kept thinking that we were going to get to the top, but the trail just kept going up and up and up.

We finally made it to a flatter area where there were pretty little ponds, scrub brush and wild flowers. There were also some friendly mountain goats.

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And yes, finally, we reached the end of the trail and there was indeed a Hidden Lake. And it was spectacular.

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When I returned from Montana, I kept thinking about that hike and how it held certain life lessons that maybe could apply to other aspects of my life…including work.

  1. Do things that make you uncomfortable. That hike was hard and sometimes painful for me, but in the end something amazing came out of it.

  2. Focus on one step at a time. Sometimes, big projects or tight deadlines seem too overwhelming to take on. But if you just focus on where you are placing your foot for each step, ultimately you look back and realize how far you’ve come.

  3. Don’t go it alone. There are signs all over Glacier telling people not to hike by themselves, and there were many times I asked my husband for a helping hand to pull me up or when he stopped me from falling. When you are working on a big project, ask for help when you need it and share your burden.

  4. Don’t get distracted. I did not take my cell phone on the hike (there was no reception anyway). I did not check emails or post to Facebook. I stayed present in the moment and focused on my goal. At work, consider taking the unprecedented step of closing your door, muting your phone, even logging off email (it’ll still be there when you get back). You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish when you aren’t interrupted.

  5. Appreciate your surroundings. Every once and a while, remember to look around you. Congratulate yourself for the progress you’ve made, give yourself a pep talk for moving forward, and share appreciation for those around you.

And hey – take your vacation days, people. Don’t be a martyr. Take the opportunity to unplug, relax and renew so that you can get back to work with a fresh perspective and a new attitude.

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