I had promised my daughter that I would hike the very steep Upper Yosemite Falls trail. It’s 6.8 miles roundtrip with a 2700 feet elevation gain in 3.4 miles and it starts at 4000 feet elevation. That translates to strenuous. Physically I probably wasn’t ready for this one, but I really wanted to do it.
I had inspiration from a book I was reading, thanks to Nat, called 3 Cups of Tea. More about that book later, but basically the main character in this true story overcame immense personal difficulties in a part of the world that is very remote. I used his story for inspiration while hiking.
If I had thought about what this hike would entail for me, I wouldn’t have been able to complete it. So, what I did was break down the hike into hundreds of small goals. For example sometimes they could be as simple as getting to the next turn 50 yards ahead. Even though the big goal was far away, I decided to focus on the present and making that next step. I also tried to not look too far ahead. This helped me to concentrate on the task at hand which was to get the next step completed.
For the next 4 ½ hours I completed my hundreds of goals and made it to the top of Yosemite Falls. It was worth every minute. We saw deer up close and personal. We got views of Upper Yosemite Falls that people in the valley never see. We saw wildflowers. We were able to connect to the other groups making the trek to the top. They were from all cultures and races. It was quite amazing. We all had one thing in common and that was reaching the top. Where we were from wasn’t that important anymore.
The way back was a completely different set of challenges. The steep downhill grade made for a difficult trip and was harder than I had imagined. I limped down the last mile as my leg muscles were over taxed. I had to use my technique again to make the final push.
This technique is what I talk about all the time on this blog. Have a future goal in mind, but focus on the present. What are you doing right now to propel you towards where you want to go? Each thought each step is important, especially the thought. That’s where it all begins.
I’m glad I was able to hike to the top of the world’s 5th highest waterfall. That felt good! Total trip time: 8 ½ hours. Phew!
Have a great day!