Eagle Peak - Part 3


This is the third of three posts about our hike up to Eagle Peak in Yosemite National Park:

"You'll love hiking! It's like exercise that doesn't feel like exercise. Plus the views are better than at the gym!" Barry said this to me when we moved to SoCal in 2011.

At the time, my version of being outdoorsy was getting drunk on patios. I had lived a lifetime in flat places: Kansas, Florida, Illinois, Texas. This was new and scary.

Eight years and hundreds of miles hiked later, we find ourselves approaching the summit of Eagle Peak here in Yosemite.

When we came to the first set of big boulders near the summit, I looked across the valley and said "huh, that's cool" - completely annoyed that this wasn't the top and that I had to keep going. After slogging my way 6+ miles with nearly 4k feet of elevation gain to get to this spot, I was beat.

"Is this it? Is this the top?" I half-asked, half-stated.

"Do you want this to be the top?" Barry replied.

I wanted to get to the top, so we kept going. Straight up snowy banks, the sun starting to turn what was hard-packed in the shady forest into a slushee here on the exposed side of the mountain. I was pissed. I had just done three miles through snow and I was over it. I rage-hiked up the side of this thing to the actual summit, climbing over boulders with new strength I didn't know I had.

When we made it, I was overwhelmed.

This is the hardest hike I've ever done in one day. This journey with Hiking My Feelings is the hardest work I've ever done. Transitioning into #vanlife has been one of the biggest growth chapters of my life, unlearning everything that was holding me back, and discovering who I am and what I actually want in the process. Over the past year, I've made dramatic changes to how I live my life, freeing myself from the outside expectations and projections I had internalized as my north star.

As I sat here, I finally got the view that Barry described eight years ago. A view so grand that it took my breath away and made me cry.

It took me almost a decade to get to this proverbial and literal mountaintop, but I did it.

I'm doing it.

One foot in front of the other.

This is everything I dreamed it could be.

I am becoming everything I dreamed I could be.

If I can do this, what else is possible?