It’s Thursday and I’m in the throes of a crazy Rim to River (and back) day hike at the Grand Canyon. In preparation for today’s
madnesshike I did a training hike at Mt. Charleston this past Monday – Memorial Day. I scrolled through old posts to see if I had written about hiking this trail before – mostly so I could compare my completion time – such a competitive bitch, I am. Anyway, turns out I had. And since it’s Thursday…why not? Here’s another nod to Throwback Thursday [#TBT]. This one combines hiking with some deep introspection. Hope you enjoy. p.s. See how I was all smug for having finished this hike in 02:20:00 last year? On Monday I finished it in 02:02:05! BOOYAH!!
Originally posted August 30, 2013 – edited
If you’re at all familiar with Southern Nevada, you’ll know that hiking at lower ground during the summer months is a recipe for heat stroke and dehydration, so the trails of Mt. Charleston are a far better option. Not only do they offer more challenge through the higher elevations, but they serve up temps that are typically 20-30 degree cooler than down in the valley.
Bristlecone Trail is a hike I originally attempted back in March but had to give up on, just a mile or so in, due to snow and ice. I was determined to own it this time.
The trail is a 6+ mile loop, with two separate trailheads, upper and lower, separated by a stretch (approx. 1/2 mile) along Lee Canyon Rd.
Starting at the Lower Trailhead means a more challenging hike, with an elevation gain of +1,091′ and a loss of -861′ on the back half, descending towards the upper trailhead.
When I set off on this hike, I was struggling with some questions.
Specifically around my ability to let go of things.
Super specifically, around my ability to let go of the anger I felt towards a certain individual who was responsible for me losing my job. A job I was very good at. One that I enjoyed. One that I didn’t deserve to lose.
This individual arguably got his comeuppance a short time later when he was unceremoniously let go for, get this, performance issues.
Unfortunately it happened 10 months too late, for my liking. Whilst the timing was not, he did get what he deserved. Lady Karma served up her payback.
So I should have felt better, right?
Well, why then was I still harbouring anger and unresolved feelings?
I dug deep and wondered…maybe it’s because I never got to say my peace. I didn’t get the last word in. Last word? Hell, I didn’t get ANY word in. On the day the news that my role had been eliminated due to a corporate restructuring, it wasn’t even the underperforming garden gnome who delivered said news. He relegated that to others. Nice guy.
And so, I surmised, my lingering anger was because I didn’t have the opportunity to confront the person who had caused my hardship.
I pondered this as I took in the amazing vistas. Mother Nature never fails to humble me with her utter beauty, peace and grace.
Between deep, cleansing breaths, I considered what I would say, if I ever had the opportunity to confront the wee, evil man with the Napoleon syndrome.
Lots of colourful expletives came to mind. I don’t have to dig very deep to tap into my inner bitch. In fact, I generally have to keep her on a tight leash to prevent her from pouncing unexpectedly.
And then, amidst my gleeful troll-bashing, I noticed a patch of trees with strange markings all over them. I walked over to investigate. My blood started boiling as I figured out what I was looking at: initials, carved into the bark by some thoughtless idiot.
Why would anyone do this?
To look around, take stock of all the natural beauty, and decide that it would only get better by carving your initials into a tree?
Selfish. Narcissistic. Prick.
My initial reaction was to find something sharp and carve in, “You SUCK, you stupid fucker” with an arrow pointing up to the offending initials.
And then I realized the futility.
Me confronting the asshole who cost me my job, is akin to me carving even more words into that tree. Neither would result in changing what had already happened. And, worse still, would leave me feeling shitty about myself for having stooped to that level.
Instead, taking a deep breath, I let go of my anger. I walked away from that tree, and also from the residual memories of that horrible, little man, knowing exactly who I am.
I am someone who no longer needs to retaliate to feel better. I feel better in the knowledge that I rose above the shit.
And also that I kicked that hike’s ass. The guide book said the completion time should be 2-3 hours. I did it in 2:20. So take that Bristlecone Trail, and suck it! 🙂