After about two hours on the hiking trail the other day (after a separate shorter morning hike of about an hour and a half to see the Kaaterskill Falls, the highest falls in New York State) we had to decide whether to take a trail that would add several miles to the hike, or take a shorter loop back to where the car was parked. Although Dave had some reservations, we opted for the longer route.
I hit a point somewhere during the last mile or so when I could hear a voice saying, you can’t do this anymore…you are not going to be able to make it to the end…you should have taken the shorter trail. Although I hadn’t had any soreness at any point during the day (Dave had started with some soreness from our hike the prior day) I was starting to feel very fatigued and was having greater difficulty navigating the tree roots and rocks on the trail. I was also very hungry, as we had forgotten to pack any food with us.
Although the voice periodically arose, I kept putting one foot in front of the other and at some point saw the sign that we were a half mile from the trailhead where we had parked our car. And a second voice responded to the first, saying, how silly: of course I can finish this hike.
As I was thinking later about the experience, I thought to myself, I know that voice. The voice that says you can’t do something. Sometimes it can be about something as minor as completing a hike. Sometimes it is about something of great consequence. But whatever it is, we at times hear a voice that tries to drag us down. A voice that says – you can’t do x….you’re not going to accomplish y…you should never have tried z…just give it up.
It is always our choice whether to listen to that voice. Our choice whether to toss in the towel and do less than we might have.
Our choice. We can listen to the voice that tries to drag us down, or we can keep putting one foot in front of the other, listening for the small, still voice that says, yes I can. I am doing it.