|The test of keeping on when we want to quit|
The back of my knees and calves were so sore, and it got to a point where my body was just following my legs as I couldn't think about them anymore. Once in the snow our pace slowed to a snail-pace as our boots gave in to the powdery white and pushed harder for each step. After awhile my left knee gave out, and it hurt to walk on it my left leg. I picked up a stick to walk with, using one hand to support my weight each time I walked. Very soon after that, I was using both my hands against the stick as I walked. In hindsight I must've looked ridiculous, like I was rowing an imaginary boat as I moved both hands with my stick back and forth on my left side.
How much mountain can possibly be left?, I kept thinking. I can see the treeline but we don't seem to be getting any closer and we're still walking on an incline. I was tired, I was hungry, I wanted to stop.
As much as we wish we could magically be back in our cabin, we knew one thing was for sure ---giving up wasn't an option. As the sun was setting on us, giving up meant staying on that mountain through the night, being at least three miles walk from any other human being.
When we reached the summit, it felt so good to sit down, and enjoy the rest of our rations. We ate the rest of our eclectic trail grab bag---PB&J sandwich, roasted almonds, mini pickles, a whole bag of Tostitos chips, banana, and mini-grilled potatoes from the night before. I felt so much better after that, and having had some rest, my body felt healed and ready. We check the trail map ---2.4 miles back to the beginning of the loop. We almost sped walk the rest of that way, as it was all downhill. When we finally reached the beginning and I could see the road and our car, I almost knelt down and thanked God right there. It was over.
Giving up was not an option. We had to finish. I thought about how we would live if we said to ourselves, Giving up is not an option to other things in life. I specifically thought about marriage, and if it was went into with that mentality. What if it went into our loved ones, and if we treated them telling ourselves, giving up is not an option, and we will fight not just once, not twice, but over and over again. In it to win it. What if we applied it to ourselves and our vices. Our priest Fr. Dan who's doing our pre-Cana has recognized in both me and Mimi that we're 90% there in getting rid of some personal things that we don't want to bring into our marriage. "We need that extra 10% now, we have to punch it in the end zone," he told us the other month. What if we applied it to our biggest dreams, our biggest hopes in lives, that one thing in our life we know we just want to do before we die. The beginning montage in Pixar's UP is one of the saddest things to watch as the main character realizes he never got to take that one trip with his wife before she died.
Giving up is not an option. If it was, we'd be stuck, isolated on our mountains, in the dark, by ourselves. Let it not be an option. It's not an option.