8/27: Snow King Mountain Summit
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
1.5 mile hike up Snow King Mountain
(3 miles round trip)
1,500 feet elevation gain!
Today is a travel day from the Grand Tetons to Yellowstone, but we kicked it off with a strenuous early morning hike. The temperature dropped considerably overnight and it was unseasonably cold for a mid summer morning. Winter hats, gloves and jackets were appropriate for our summit but in reality the only thing that kept us warm was our own movement, the pumping of our legs against the wet, muddy ground. We ran at first (rookie mistake) and in no time it slowed to a walk. Head down, toes gripped, and arms swinging, Doug, Evan and I pressed on. Our lungs were screaming and the sound of my own gasping for air kept tempo with my footsteps.
1/4 of the way up, I turned around to check on Evan, who stopped momentarily. He was physically spent. Done. Checked out. From his perspective, the summit was too far away and quitting was a strong temptation. Tears came. More than once. “It’s too hard!” he demanded. But I know what he is capable of. He is an elite rock climber and the exceptional athletes on his team are very disciplined in their training, enduring strenuous practice routines. I had a valuable teaching opportunity in front of me.
We are in the hardest season of our life. I have an opportunity to build perseverance in my child that will serve him well in the years to come. We must persevere.
“Keep going, son. You can do this.”
“But I don’t want to. It’s too hard. I’ll stay here and wait for you to come back down.”
Here’s where tough love came in. “No. You can’t stay here. You can do this. I’m right here with you…I won’t leave you, but you ARE finishing this.”
More tears. Silence. Deep breath. Then, forward progress.
“It will be challenging, oh but the summit will be worth it!” Perseverance is a fruit that grows out of trials…it’s a willingness to stay strong when things get tough. It means going through mental anguish and often a physical struggle of “staying the course.” Evan accomplished this today!
The Bible compares living the Christian life to running a race. Just as athletes are crowned with victory medals, God rewards those who persevere to the end.
Evan’s Uncle Doug boldly exclaimed “this is what adventures are made of!! It’s not in the good, fun, easy stories. It’s in the hard climb on a cold and rainy day.” Do something different and crazy and hard and fun, and you will live a life of adventure!
We reached the summit in less than an hour – perseverance won today! And Evan was rewarded with the amazing views and the accomplishment of something he didn’t think he was capable of.