Last Saturday, Karen Smith joined me walking up Stone Mountain.  I wrote about her experience from my perspective and here it is in her own words:

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You can do it, you can do it, you can do it!

That’s what I told myself over and over again last Saturday before I began my first trek up Stone Mountain in over 15 years.  It’s been a long time, and several dress sizes since I even attempted this type of physical work out but I was determined.

I got this!

Starting out on the trail you immediately start walking up hill.  Not even 10 minutes into the hike and already I had to stop, catch my breath and take a drink of water.   Talk about discouraging!  Luckily I had a wonderful support system with me that day.  My dear friends Kristy and Richard wouldn’t leave my side and they let me set my own pace.  I never once felt like an inconvenience or embarrassed about having to stop and take breaks.  I decided to tackle the mountain in sections, go up a section, and rest, which for me, made it seem way less intimidating.  By the time we reached the half way point, I knew there was no stopping.

Almost there…

If you’ve not ever climbed Stone Mountain, the hard part is towards the end.  You have the really steep part, and then the final crest which leads to the top of the mountain.  The steep part is not just steep, it’s intimidating, especially for someone as out of shape as I am.  Getting a look at this hill, I could hear the devil on my shoulder laughing, telling me there was no way I could conquer this hill, no way I could go on the rest of the way.  I was tired my feet were achy and my legs were starting to shake and for the first time in years, as corny as it sounds, I felt alive.  I shrugged the little devil who was wreaking havoc in my ear and started up.  I used the hand rails, I had to stop half way up but I made it.  It was hard and it hurt, but I made it.

When we finally reached the top of the hill there was a moment when I was alone, sitting on a rock taking in the beautiful view and I thought to myself, wow!  You actually did this.  You didn’t turn around when you thought you should, you kept going and you did it.  While this may seem like a small accomplishment to some of you, for me it was literally conquering my fear of failure and embarrassment.  I may not be able to fly up the mountain (yet!) and I may have to stop and take frequent breaks but walking up this mountain showed me that there is nothing that I can’t do if I want it bad enough.

You can do it too!

I am not the vision of physical fitness.  I’m overweight and not in shape (for right now).  The one thing I’ve got going for me, especially after my experience last Saturday, is confidence.  If I can make it over that mountain, there is nothing I can’t accomplish.    If I can make it over that mountain, you can too!

-Karen Smith

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