The Grandest View

When we think of reaching goals we often think of the vistas, the peak, climbing and reaching; what it will feel like to at to the top. It’s the view we strive to see! I would venture to say that sometimes the best views are from the very deepest, lowest points.


What is the human body truly capable of doing? When has it been pushed too far? Athletes prove to us over and over that we, as human beings, are capable of much more than we think we can accomplish. I wouldn’t consider myself to be a competitive athlete, but I have experienced the thrill of proving to myself that my body can do things I never thought it could.


The past year has been a year of adventure! A year of stretching my body, mind, and spirit to achieve better; to go farther. Conquering the voices, the doubts, and fears. In December of 2014 I set out to accomplish several bucket list items during 2015. The biggest item on the list was a rim-to-rim hike of the Grand Canyon in one day; a near marathon length hike and not recommended. I was amazed at the feedback I received during the year as I prepared. Everything from, “That’s awesome, I loved when I did that!” to “Why would you want to do something so crazy?!”


For me, the power of seeking a goal is a drive all its own.


I planned and accomplished several intermediate hikes as preparation. Pine Valley Mountain (12 miles) Mt. Timpanogos (15 miles) and Angel’s Landing in Zion were all steps leading to the big hike. Then there were the daily workouts. Stairs at Dixie stadium, hiking Web Hill, elliptical workouts, weight training, and running. What’s amazing is that last December when I began, I couldn’t walk one flight of stairs at the stadium without needing to stop half-way to catch my breath! I had a way to go, but little by little, step by step, my body began to respond.


Commencing on an unknown exploration, I set off to hike the Grand Canyon from rim to rim. As I descended the North Rim, each turn brought a new and incredible view. But my favorite view was actually from the bottom. Fifteen miles into the trek, bruised and bleeding, I looked up. And up. And UP! You see things from the bottom that you’ll never see from the top. From the top you may see the vastness — the greatness, but from the bottom you can see and feel the minute details that make the canyon come alive. The rushing river, the foliage differences as you change elevation, the temperature changes, the transition of colors and textures along the chiseled canyon walls. You see the desert flowers, and the frog crossing the trail at sunset, heading for water.


Words truly fail to describe the intense emotions I felt as I looked back at what we had just come down, and then ahead at the “up” we would now need to ascend. The sheer cliffs were overwhelming in both directions. I was there! I was living it. I was accomplishing what I had previously thought was impossible!


So it is with each of us. Look at the whole person that is you, and then look deep within. What details, textures, gifts, talents, and strengths make you who you are? Enjoy the depths of your soul, and don’t be afraid to live the details that make you, you. Then – look up! Look forward, anticipating what is ahead of you. There is so much to explore—to create. So much more to see and to become! The grandest views are often from the bottom.