Mind Over Matter

Hiking can be a lot like life. I look back to moments that tested my physical endurance - running half marathons, child birth, hiking at an altitude of 7,000 feet while 7 months pregnant - and every time, it was my mental stamina that got me to the finish line. But that is just part of the journey. Remembering to enjoy the journey - the tough parts as much as the easy parts - is key.  The beginning is always a little scarier. You are typically launching into uncharted territory and you don't know what to expect. That uncertainty can erect mental blocks like fear and anxiety, or a sense of unpreparedness. Once you hit your destination, or even the halfway point, something magical happens. You breathe a sigh of relief and the sense of accomplishment instills a wonderful confidence that carries you to the end. Whether it's the fact that you might be revisiting familiar scenery or you just understand that the end is within your reach, the road home always feels shorter and easier. I try to think about some of my favorite hikes, like the one pictured below at Donut Falls in Salt Lake City, during difficult moments in my life. I will channel the natural beauty seen on my journey, and the ease of the hike home to give me the mental push I need to get the finish line (and enjoy)  my next big life test in February - giving birth to my second baby.

Jenna L. Kashou