About a mile in to the strenuous hike she saw the sign at the same time that her energetic triplets did. “Adventure Trail,” it said in printed in black letters, pointing to the right. Her children’s voices rang out like enthusiastic bells, “Lets go! Let’s go! Let’s go!” she heard them chime. As she cautiously considered this path, she tasted fear as a bitter lemon placed on her tongue. Adventure trails were not for 41 year olds - especially ones like her.
She listed the reasons, very persuasively, in her mind: “I’m not in good shape, I’m afraid of heights, I don’t like tight spaces, I’m scared.” Her self argument fell on deaf ears as she found herself making the turn and descending a rickety wooden ladder nestled in to a crevasse. Her hands shook as she slowly descended.
As she dropped heavily to the ground from the last rung a cool breeze enveloped her and she exhaled slow as this reassuring touch surrounded her. The smell of damp rocks and rich earth greeted her as she turned to catch up. Though her knees wobbled after the first obstacle, her confidence grew and she raised her head high. She moved slowly along the path, savouring the beauty.
For a time, she struggled to catch up, as if being last was a voice whispering that she was not enough. But as she continued to crawl on her hands and knees through tunnels of rock and pull herself up on to small ledges, she realised being last was allowing her to savour the experience. Savour the adventure. Savour the journey. To fully realise that adventure trails were made for 41 year olds, just like her.