Eeyore by Nature?

Hiking Kokohead while living in Hawaii was a wonderful experience, but not for the obvious reasons.

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The view was beyond beautiful overlooking Hanauma Bay. Being able to lookout over the marathon course from that perspective was mind-blowing. Hiking it with a dear friend makes it a forever treasured memory. The encounter we had with a man who hikes (runs!) this trail 3 times a day changed how I view not only this particular hike, but life in general. Seriously? A conversation with a stranger changes your life? Well, sort of. Perhaps life-changing is a bit extreme, but it brought to light a shift in perspective to which I refer often.

As we were going up, the man was coming down rapidly. Sprinting is a more accurate description. My friend and I marveled at his speed and asked him, “Don’t you worry about falling?” He replied grinning, “I think differently. I don’t think about falling.”

This little exchange comes back to me frequently. The daily prompt title was “Make Me Smile” and asked to discuss things that make us happy. While not exactly that specific topic, I immediately thought of this hiker and his wise words on perspective.

When we look at our Twitter feeds, Facebook walls, or even conversations with our friends, are our words peppered with complaints, sighs, and general negativity? If someone you didn’t know was to read everything you posted online, what would be their perspective? When spending time with friends, how do you come away feeling? Uplifted and content, or heavy and burdened?  If we focus on the negative things in life, that’s what we will attract to ourselves.

I’m not saying that every day is rainbows and kittens and life is always pleasant, because it’s not. Not by a long shot. Crap happens and life is messy. In general though, do we go through life complaining, resisting what is, or do we adapt and look for the good, seeking out joy despite circumstances? For some of us, I think it may come a bit easier as it’s in our nature to be positive, and in turn, if the natural tendency is negative, that’s what flows most freely.

What about you? What’s your perspective? Do you look at the world with a perpetual glass-half-full viewpoint or do you look for the negative, complain, but don’t really know why?  Perhaps it’s time to “think differently” like my hiker friend!

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Kokohead, Battle Buddies, and Facing Fears!

So after hiking Diamondhead a couple of weeks ago, Katy and I decide that we are rockstars and we are gonna do Kokohead. It’s only 1,048 railroad ties or “steps” to the top – can’t be that bad! And we swam over a mile yesterday – lets climb a volcano today! Yippee!!
My rockstar battle buddy Katy!!!
These pictures of course aren’t going to do it justice, but here is where we start. Way off straight into the distance you can see the path that leads STRAIGHT UP!
A few steps in we see some people (and one crazy guy) RUNNING down the ties. Katy’s husband says there is some 70 year old that does this multiple times a day!

 

There are stretches where you can’t see the whole trail because of the incline. It’s INSANE!! Just keep climbing, just keep climbing, just keep climbing…
This was my view when I had to sit down for a bit….
Had to let my stomach calm down….

 

Katy had to lean in cause I physically could not make myself stand up  and look down simultaneously!
This was the AMAZING view from the top!

 

Way off in the distance you can see the last mountain we climbed! Diamondhead!

 

And this is Hanauma Bay from the top looking down!!! Never thought I would see that view!!
And from this view, it dawned on me just how far I ran during the marathon. Diaomndhead crater is there in the upper left corner and I ran all the way from the front of the mountain (actually where the Waikiki skyline is) to where the first little water inlet is on the bottom right corner of the picture. And back.
Seeing it from this vantage point really brought the accomplishment home in a remarkable way. And if I hadn’t faced my fear of heights, I would have never seen it.

 

Yeah, all I can do to stand there and not hug the mountain on all fours!

 

Battle Buddies Baby!!! We did it!!!

 

 

 

I am so glad I was able to do this. The crazy guy we saw running down the mountain (and a couple of others who did it twice in the time it took us to do it once!) made a comment as we passed him that stuck with me….
Us: “Can’t believe you can RUN down this thing! That’s awesome. Aren’t you afraid you are going to fall?”
Crazy Guy: Big smile, “No. We have different minds. I don’t think about falling.”
Hmm. Got me to thinking. Our main focus is what will be brought to fruition. If my main focus is fear, then I will be incapacitated. All the way up that mountain I had to keep telling myself some things…
No fear
All the way up – and all the way out! (What is chanted at us in spin class!)
Don’t feed the fears
Keep climbing
One step at a time
Baby steps
Look only in front and where your feet are going
Stand up and be proud of what you are accomplishing
Finish Strong
Victorious not Nauseous
Focus.
And we did.
And on the way back down when my stomach stopped flipping around, we ran a few of those last stairs too!