Thursday, September 03, 2015

On Believing in Yourself

This story goes back a few years to when I went to Israel on Birthright with Israel Outdoors.  Unlike most people, I did not have a life-changing Israel experience. I don't know if I'd even classify it as a great experience. I actually left feeling less confident in myself and felt so alienated from Judaism that I didn't re-join the Jewish community until last spring. This is not something that I often share because there were several causes for it and I don't think it's necessarily a productive conversation, but I definitely had a tough time.

One of the real sticking points of my trip was the sunrise climb up Masada. We left at something like 5 in the morning to be on the top of the mountain for the sunrise. I was on a hiking trip, which I was assurred was not very tough, and this hike in particular was "very easy." Well, not to me it wasn't.  I wasn't in the best shape and I was wearing the wrong shoes. I didn't make it for the sunrise, and I caused two others {the ones who had to wait with me} to miss it also. Although one of them was trying to reassure me, her words of, "well, I guess we're gonna miss it," just made it so much worse. After that experience, I swore I would never go hiking again.

{Sunrise NOT from the top of Masada}

Clearly, I didn't stick to that, but all summer I've been self-conscious of being the "slow one." I'm a slow-and-steady hiker at the best of times, and I was very nervous that if I went on a sunrise hike, we just wouldn't make it, and it would be my fault. But, as I did some hiking, I noticed that I wasn't really holding anyone back, that I was more fit and we always made it to where we said we were going. I also realized that I am NOT the person that I was 5 years ago, and that I had changed not only in my abilities, but also because I no longer allow people to make me feel inferior.

{Yoga near the Matterhorn}

 So, one morning, a friend and I hiked to the top of a mountain for the sunrise. It was a glorious, clear day, and the mountains were simply breathtaking.

{Looking towards Niesen}

{Lohner, Nunnihorn and Wildstrubel at sunrise}

In honor of believing in myself and conquering fears, I greeted the sunrise.

Don't let your past determine your future.

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