On Saturday morning I was at sea level in the Bay Area, and by mid-afternoon Sunday I was more than 10,000 feet in the sky following the Deer Mountain Trail toward the summit that offers a panoramic view of Rocky Mountain National Park.
There are so many reasons I love hiking, but the process of this hike was truly transformative. Waking up early in the darkness, feeling the biting cold of Boulder, Colorado as I step outside, watching my breath form clouds in the air in front of my face as the snow flurries crystallize on my beard – it all seems dreamlike.
As I drove from the base of the Flat Irons to the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park, I was greeted with a truly exceptional scene of jutting snow-capped mammoths filling the sky above the rolling foothills.
Getting to the trailhead, I swiftly lace up my boots and take my first steps into the snow covered trail. The air is thin, the wind is cold, the storm is moving my direction, and adventure awaits. I trek on deep into the crevices of this glorious forest, far away from any cell signal and signs of humanity, and easily forget that anyone exists outside of this moment.
Hours pass and I see no one as I steadily make my way towards the summit, and suddenly it hits me. There are tracks. Other hikers have been here where I currently stand and have walked this same trail that I now forge. After hours of feeling like I was the only one to ever walk this trail, I was comforted by the thought that I wasn’t completely alone in my endeavor.
I was alone, but together with everyone who had been here before.
I believe this to be true for all endeavors. No matter if you’re chasing down an idea you want to patent, trying to lead your organization, working through a rough patch in your relationship, or studying for the test of your life. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
People before you have walked the path you now tread, and you can gain insight from their experiences that can help you make decisions in your current situation. In today’s interconnected world and amid the mass of information available, there are always resources to be utilized and considered while going through what can seem like a lonely trail.
Reach out to those people and ask questions. Read the books and articles on the subject matter. Talk about your predicament with those closest to you. As we become ever more connected as a global society, the distance between you and the idea you need most that will get you through your tough time gets smaller and smaller.
Be resilient. Be persistent. Be GRITTY. And most of all, be curious. In every adventure, there are answers, you just need to be present to see them.