Last week while on a business trip in Colorado Springs I did a few amazing hikes with my colleagues. By far one of the most challenging was a hike known as “The Incline” located in Manitou. It’s an old trail that is paved with 2800 wooden rail road ties. The climb is one mile up (with an average grade of 68%) and four miles down. It starts at an elevation of 6200 feet above sea level and ends just above 8,000 feet. On the way up my lungs burned, my chest heaved and I had at least one brief mental break down. I had to stop so many times I lost count. A couple of times I was ready to bail but the way back down was too steep and we couldn’t find the short cut. I had to keep going. My colleagues encouraged me along and slowly, slowly, I made it to the top. The view was worth the pain. Breathtaking.
The Incline reminded me of how good it is to mentally and physically challenge oneself to do something that seems impossible. The Incline also reminded me of how important it is to have a support system when taking those challenges. I couldn’t have finished that hike without the encouragement of my colleagues, of that I’m sure. And you know what? I felt like a bad ass at the end of that hike. As hard as it was, I’ll totally do it again when I’m back in Colorado.
What’s your Incline?