The Long and Winding Road

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Tami VerHelst

This past weekend I had the opportunity to complete a bucket list item: hiking Rim to Rim at the Grand Canyon. I had wanted to do that both to experience the beauty that is the Grand Canyon and to accomplish this very physical challenge.

I can be competitive and goal-oriented. To those that know me, this is not a shocker. But I wanted to be balanced between enjoying my companions, the beauty of the scenery around me, and the overall experience with completing the hike in a way that worked for me.

I had been warned that going at a pace not in keeping with my own would not work. I would need to be not too slow, not too fast. For the most part, my pace matched the pace of my companions, but somewhere around the 3.5 miles remaining mark (out of 24 total miles), I needed to change to my own pace, which led to me hiking mostly on my own.

It was during this stretch of climbing that I took this photo – a spectacular view of the journey that I’d taken. The path was winding, steep, and challenging. But there I was, at this spot on the path, my journey nearly complete, looking back at what I’d accomplished while still anticipating the journey ahead, which at that point was mostly unseen. Coupled with this was the satisfaction of knowing I’d done my best and would continue to do so.

I think that is my recovery journey, too. I have had many twists on the path; it’s been steep and difficult at times – sometimes with beautiful views, other times with only rocky crags in view. Much of the time, there have been people on the path to share the journey, and even in times when the past was mostly solitary, I knew I was not alone. And though I am on my own pathway of life and recovery, with my footsteps uniquely my own, I travel a path where others have gone before, knowing that I can follow them and, in so doing, be a guide for others.

To all who have been on the path with me, thank you. For all who are standing at the trailhead wondering if they can do it, know that you can! And the journey is spectacular!

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This blog was originally posted on Momentum Addiction Recovery at this link. It is reprinted here with permission of the author.