I hope your summer has been full of excitement and relaxation! Mine certainly has been busy. While vacationing in Maine I embarked on my first solo-hike up North Traveler Mountain in the north woods of Baxter State Park. It was not largest mountain that I have ever summited but the challenge was to accomplish it alone. I recall the woods were quiet, and the only thing that stood between me and the synonymous black bears were moss covered branches and a tiny bear bell that jingled on my pack. The hiking guide I referenced read that the path would clear about a half-mile in and I would be exposed most of the way up the mountain – heights being a fear of mine I somehow carried on. Small rocks scuffed below my feet and the sky opened up around the half-mile mark, just as my guide stated. The mountain loomed to the left as the wind began to pick up and I found myself completely in the open as I climbed. I remember the fears that crept in -Was it too windy? Would I slip and slide down the steep edge? Am I strong enough?
From my experience, I realized that fears seemingly come out in moments of hardship that of which not only come out in intense situations but in everyday life as well. But, the joy of doing things that present challenges is to overcome and to grow from those experiences. It takes understanding why you want to accomplish something in order to move past the words in your mind, allowing you to take another step forward.
Embarking on new challenges, even if it is running your first 5K (follow some tips on pg. 21) or training for a triathlon (get some inspiration from everyday triathletes on pgs. 24 and 26) will allow you to grow in all areas of your life. If you remember that everyone has overcome obstacles in the past, much larger than luminous mountains, you are able to see that you have the strength to conquer more than you think.
You also don’t always have to stray far from home to be challenged. You can sign-up for incredibly inspiring events like the ones we’ve feature in this issue. Most of the events stem from the hardships of others and were established in remembrance of how they have inspired others – use their stories as your fuel.
This issue also encompasses how to find balance during the changing of seasons and offers tips on how to make the shift into Fall a little easier (read more on pg. 13). Taking the time to plan accordingly and keeping yourself organized will also best prepare you for anything that lies ahead.
Focus also plays a big part in overcoming life’s obstacles (read more on pg. 41), if I were to focus on the wrong things while climbing the highest volcanic mountain in Maine, I would not have had the opportunity to see the vast landscape and 360 degree view of the north woods. I hope you enjoy the knowledge we’ve presented and I hope that you find a new challenge, know your why and accomplish it!