We were a little more than halfway to the top of Upper Yosemite Fall when I gave up. My mind told me I was done - so I was done. Thankfully, I had partners with me who set small goals.
"Keely, make it to that next patch of shade and you can rest."
"Okay - we'll go two more switchbacks and then drink some water."
I felt like such an idiot but I made it to the top. My people are book people. We read about people who do great feats - we do not engage. We are observers. However, there is only so much you can observe from Yosemite valley, and I pity those who have not set out to see what there is to see.
I think of those tough hikes in Yosemite sometimes when I'm walking and doubt and the negativity creep into my mind. I wonder what I am doing out there. Who do I think I am? Will anybody worry if I just go lay down under that tree for a while? I'm tired. I'm hot. I'm hurting.
So I went online to see what I could do to overcome those thoughts. There is almost nothing for long distance walkers out there, but there is a ton of info for marathoners. Many suggested running mantras.
A running mantra is a short phrase (5 words or less ideally) that you can focus on instead of the negative thoughts. I was reading through some of the runner's mantras when I read "define yourself" and I knew that was my mantra.
For years I have defined myself as; injured, tired, busy, hot, night person, morning person, over-committed, etc. They were excuses - - more importantly though I was defining who I was by a set of excuses.
This morning I passed a woman smoking a cigarette in her driveway. I had just finished 3 miles and had about 1/2 mile left. She says to me "I wish I had your energy" and I thought to myself "you do!" But until she chooses that for herself I suppose she is defined as something else. It's unfortunate.