Challenge yourself.

This morning I cut my grass, swept the sidewalk and weeded the garden. I really love yard work. I am smitten with anything that grows…flowers, fruit, vegetables, pecans, grass…just smitten. Then it was time to connect to my work free Thursday.

I decided to do my best to jog up this trail. It was beautifully hot. I have been in this heat for 10 years and it’s okay. Now, I am similar to desert creatures that bask in the warmth of the sun. I kept my eyes out for rattlesnakes. I couldn’t hear them because I had music in my ears. I don’t want to meet a rattlesnake ever. We all know what becomes of limbs kissed by fangs. No thank you! I do not have time for that issue right now.

Midway up I had to turn on the instrumental music. When I focus on a task, especially a mentally physical one, there’s a time when I can’t hear someone else. In those moments I only have room for one voice, mine to push me forward.

Also, midway up I thought when I finish, I will make a latte! I have these tasty roasted beans from a coffee shop over the pond. It’s a Thursday so I can do that. Since September I typically work during the week. This random day off was in the schedule but I still don’t find it easy to swallow. I want my days off together. Usually no one wants to work a Saturday so I am scheduled and have off Sunday. Yep one day off a week, which means everyday I pop out of bed early to have my time.

Completely off subject…Yesterday I caught the last ten minutes or so of this live cooking interview on Instagram. I had no idea you could watch a live anything on Instagram. Anyway, at one point the interviewee says one of his friends just pops out of bed all bushy eyed and happy like a Springer Spaniel! Oh my…I laughed and laughed! I laughed loudly alone in my office! I wonder if my husband thinks of me as a Springer Spaniel! Oh my I am now laughing again with this jest! I will ask him if he considers me like a spaniel that pops out of bed since I rise about 6:30am. I think he will give me the look and smirk that shares,”That question won’t have an answer because it’s a trick. Any man that wants to live happily won’t answer that question.”

Finally, I made it to the top. The trail head is on the left, signified with that sign. Well as we all know, thanks to Newton shaping our world view, what goes up will come down. Down always seems to be at a much faster pace. Being mindful, caliche is not forgiving if you misstep on those switchbacks. I returned to word music for the journey down. Don’t worry yourself. I am still looking for rattlesnakes. Not a cloud in the sky.

I always believe the outdoors can heal you, strengthen bonds with others. I remember walking this path with my then teenage daughter. (Oh my! She’ll be 20 in December, time races when you really want it to wait for you to catch up.) We would discuss our views, her classes, friends, life. It was such a beautiful togetherness. On one walk she put a long piece of straw in her belly button or it was held in place by her squishing her belly into a barely there roll. We laughed so hard at her trying to hold that straw in place! You have to have at least a couple rolls to get it done. She tried so hard and it kept falling out, I think that’s why we laughed so hard. I will look for the picture, yes I remember taking one!

It’s quite a peaceful place, these hills. The desert is beautifully colored with bright flowers especially after a good rain. In the spring the Ocotillo have vibrant red blooms, yucca have creme colored blooms. Yes it rains in the desert. Monsoon season is July. Time of desert decadence.

I made it down with no broken skin! I was sweaty, dusty and hot. I am so glad I brought those sunglasses. Next time I might bring a hat but no I probably won’t. I just reminded myself why I stopped that. Elevation creates a breeze. I didn’t like a cord tight to my chin, sparing a hand to hold a hat to my head. I don’t want the extra work. No wide brimmed hat. Yes to sunglasses. I think I tried a ball cap, hrmm I don’t remember if I did or not.

I know it’s hard to get out when you have kids. I still have one son at home. The girly is in college, summer classes right now. She is taking two 16 week online classes rolled into 4 weeks! I remember those days and am glad that’s done with. Cramming knowledge at someone else’s pace. I can study when and what I want now. Anyway, I know it’s hard to push yourself, challenge yourself when life moves around you. Aim to take 15 minutes for you. Jog in place. Learn something new. Eat the banana instead of the mini saltine crackers. Do two push ups, 10 sit ups, and breathe for 30 seconds. If you have more time then do more.

Challenge your mountain. Shake it.

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