Be Brave, Be Strong and Take On Challenges

Stacy Menzies Happy FixOne of my goals this break was to finish a big people book (labeling it an adult book makes it sound dirty 😉). The winner? Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

Wild is Cheryl’s story about hiking 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, largely on her own. A single woman. No training. No hiking experience. Just a pure desire to figure out who she was, who she is, and to exorcise the demons that had plagued her for years.

I’ve always wondered why people do things like climb Mt. Everest, run ultra-marathons, or, as a single woman, hike an isolated trial on their own. It always seemed like those engaged in these endeavors were inviting danger and trouble and the return on investment wasn’t worth it.

This story, though, put it into perspective. I made the mistake, as we all do, of only looking at the extrinsic rewards of these accomplishments. The notoriety. The scenery. The being in kick-ass shape at the end of it.

What I didn’t realize is how much these journeys change you internally. They force you to dig deep, to do things you didn’t think you could. You are required to be brave at every step, continually moving forward when you may not be sure of the outcome.

Every day we tell ourselves stories. We catalog what we can’t do and why we can’t do it. We talk ourselves out of doing things that are hard but could exponentially change who we are and how we do things. We are the obstacle that prevents us from reaching our greatest potential and achieving our greatest rewards.

In Wild, Cheryl changed the conversation in her head. She told herself she was brave. She told herself she was strong. When she wanted to quit, she got encouragement. And that made all the difference.

There are so many things I want to do. I’m still not really down with climbing Mt. Everest, but I have a better understanding of those who do. This book, though, inspires me to be brave, to be strong. And the things I don’t think I can do? Those should be the first on my to-do list. #HappyFix #SelfCare