On doing hard things: hiking the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim

Maria standing on the North Kaibab trail in the Grand Canyon

πŸ₯΅ It’s over 100Β°F. I’ve just hiked 10 miles down 4,500 feet and still have 5 miles and 1,000 feet of descent to go. I’m cursing the people who told us we were “close” eons ago, and I’m trying not to think about the 10 miles I have to hike tomorrow.

Why am I doing this again ⁉️

One of my intentions this year was to get better at doing hard things *because I want to*.

See, I’m good at doing difficult things because I or someone else think I should. I motivate myself through shame (“if you don’t do this you’re a failure”). The result is that I’m never satisfied, and feelings of accomplishment are fleeting at best. 😞

I’ve become better at stepping back and saying no to things I don’t want to do. πŸ™…β€β™€οΈ

But it’s still hard for me to distinguish hard things that I want to do from things others want me to do. πŸ€”

Back to our hike. πŸ₯Ύ Completing 15 miles and 5,500 feet of descent one day, and 10 miles and 4,500 feet of ascent the next day was the most physically challenging feat I’ve ever accomplished.

It was also the kind of beauty that no picture can capture, and I got to see parts of the canyon that only 1% of the park’s visitors ever see. 🀩

There were times I didn’t think I could deal with the heat, pain, or fatigue any longer β€” but I did. There were times I didn’t think I could take another step β€” but I did.

Because I believe in myself. Because I don’t want to let old injuries or discomfort hold me back. Because I want to be the kind of badass that hikes R2R and lives to tell the tale.

πŸ’₯ And THAT is the difference. The motivation is coming from a place of aspiration instead of fear.

I’m incredibly proud of myself. Although I will be sitting on my couch for the next 5 days thank you very much 😬

(P.S. This picture was taken just before the brutal final stretch of the hike, which is why I’m still smiling πŸ˜…)

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