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the hike

I went hiking with some friends a few days after my birthday this week. I haven't been hiking in quite a while, and honestly it was hard. But so is life. And hiking was about to help me understand.

Climbing up a steep path with a few far more experienced hikers, I was trying not to let them see me falling behind. We'd only been hiking for ten or fifteen minutes, and I felt pathetic for how much pain I was in. I can't do this, I thought. I started thinking about how I could convince them to just finish without me and pick me up on their way back down. My ears and neck and throat hurt from the cold air, my legs hurt from the climb, and my mind hurt from the realization that if I couldn't even make it fifteen minutes up a mountain, I probably needed to give up on a number of other hiking-related dreams I've had. My mind couldn't think of anything other than, I can't do this, I'm not gonna make it, I'll never be able to do this kind of thing. It made eve…

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