Fear Is A Mirror – Behold Your Reflection Your Way

Have you ever had someone or something really shake the ground you were standing on? Did you get back up?

Earlier this year, I went on a day hike on the AT in Maryland (my home state). I hiked to Washington Monument in Boonsboro and climbed the stairs to enjoy the view at the top of the historic tower-like structure. A few minutes before I reached my destination, a man passed me on the trail. He had poles and a fairly large pack, so I suspected he was covering a good distance.

I got more acquainted with this man on top of the monument. He said he was section hiking and asked about my intentions. I mentioned my plans for a thru-hike. He immediately started in on my body, making comments like, “Your friends won’t recognize you. It will be a complete transformation. Are you motivated to get healthy?” I was taken aback, and while I defended myself in a friendly way, I was kicking myself later for not giving him a bigger piece of my mind.

You can’t miss this monument… it looks like a milk bottle.

Reflection

Later that day I did a meditation, and it happened to be about how negative people and experiences can teach us. I realized that he upset me because he reflected my biggest doubts and fears. That I’m too slow, that my body can’t do it, that I’m only in this to lose weight.ย He inadvertently called out all my primary insecurities, but in doing so, he made me face them.ย It made me realize that if I quit because I don’t want to live up to his expectations or because I feel insecure, that would be a real loss for me, and I would be letting him win. So, thanks to this interaction, I found even more motivation to continue what I started.

Our bodies can do amazing things with a little imagination, and that’s what this is about. In all honesty, I’m grateful this happened. I promised myself I would write a public article about this experience, and I think it’s fitting that it be my first. I hope this is just the start to all the fears I will conquer and lessons I will learn out there.


Creepy stairs sometimes lead to amazing views.

Seeing Yourself

If you can find even the smallest shred of positivity in a bad situation, just an ounce of gratefulness can help you see things another way and lift you up. Try to remember that sometimes even the people closest to you don’t know the real you, or all of you. Acknowledge that you know yourself better, even when you feel like you don’t. You’re allowed to see yourself in your own way, even if it doesn’t match what others think or say.ย And if you come across a stranger like this one, or something else that really tests your courage, don’t let it keep you on the ground. Get back up and keep on walking.

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Comments 13

  • Avatar
    Daddy Longlegs : Jan 19th

    Life is Amazing…Keep Walking!
    Try to be present in the moment as often as possible and enjoy the journey of a lifetime!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Erin : Jan 19th

      Thank you! Walking is certainly the plan! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Barb Abney : Jan 19th

    Hi Erin. You sound like someone I would like to meet. I go NOBO March 25. Hope we connect.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Erin : Jan 19th

      Hello! I am starting earlier in March, but I am taking it slow at the start, so I do hope we get the chance to meet!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Specs : Jan 20th

    Angels around, above, and beneath!
    Have the time of your life.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Erin : Jan 22nd

      Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Regina Reiter : Jan 21st

    Erin, thanks for writing this to remind me that paying attention to my Inner Journey is essential for fulfilling my Outer Journey! I admire you for recognizing it, and even more for going public with it! My dream is to go public with sharing tools for our Inner Journeys. Thanks for affirming that they work!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Erin : Jan 22nd

      Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ I really appreciate that! Sometimes being in my own head is harder than anything physical, or makes the physical journey harder than it has to be.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Firecracker : Jan 21st

    Alas, my hike is not until 2019. I think I would have liked meeting you. I’m looking forward to you posts this year. HYOH

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Erin : Jan 22nd

    Thank you! Maybe we will meet somehow anyway! I hope you have a great hike regardless ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Devin : Jan 25th

    Erin, thank you so much for sharing this! This is a fear that plagues me, too, because I’m not a small person. I once had a friend’s husband scoff and express doubt when I mentioned my thru hike and it shook me up, too. But the more I reflected on it, the more I turned his doubt into fuel for my hike. I know what my body is capable of better than anyone else. On days when I feel like quitting, I’ll think of his words and remember how badly I want to prove him wrong.

    Hope to meet you on trail!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Erin : Jan 25th

      Definitely, I always try to let doubtful or judgmental people fuel my fire too! I think it’s so important for people to realize that people of all different body types can hike and can thru hike.

      I hope our paths will cross out there! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Adrienne : Jan 26th

    I think Erin is absolutely awesome. Iโ€™m glad she is trying to live her dream, which is something I have been afraid to do. I wish Erin strength and good weather on her hike. Iโ€™m looking forward to reading all of her posts.

    Reply

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