Friday Tidings
4/28/16 at 04:06 PM 0 Comments

Stretching the Limits

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Mount Storm King in the Olympics is a quick but intense climb since it’s 1200 feet of elevation per mile. But the last 500 feet truly test your limits.

It was Christmas Day, and as a gift to myself, I wanted to hike to the top.

The Very Top.

Beyond the end-of-trail warning sign, ropes are securely (?) tied to outcroppings enabling the fearless to climb to the summit.

From there one can see the entire glacier-fed Lake Crescent and beyond to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the watery dividing line between the United States and Canada.

A bonus on this Christmas Day climb, was fresh snow on the rugged summit. So, Tommy, my son and official Storm King guide, and I laid fresh boot tracks through a couple feet of snow.

Three sections of climbing ropes were just ahead. The snow gave me a sense of security, why I don’t know, common sense would say I could easily slip off the perilous cliffs.

At the first rope, Tommy climbed up, yelling from above—assuring me that I didn’t have to follow, but he’d monitor every step if I did.

I was doing this as a gift for myself, I repeated silently.

After the first rope, I wondered how hard it was going to be to get back down, but I’d already decided to stretch my limits. I’d climbed mountains as a teen, so the combination of adrenaline, fear, and determination were instantly recalled.

Reaching the summit, I experienced what every mountain climber longs to see—the view.

Celebrating another birthday reminds me that age can limit me, or I can stretch those limits. I have a friend who is stretching her limits to learn Chinese. Another friend is battling multiple sclerosis and is stretching her limits to keep moving even in pain.

Another friend had open heart surgery and stretched his limits to continue running marathons.

Breaking free from addiction can stretch our limits, so can recovering from a business failure, divorce, or losing a loved one. Life can be tough and we all have opportunities to be stretched—just like a treacherous hike. But making it to the very top is worth all of the stretching required. Honest.

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