Living near the Big Horn has been a huge blessing to my family and I. We live about ten minutes from the base, in Buffalo. I wasn't an outdoor fan, at least for hiking and camping, but my wife is! I dread lots of physical activity, unless it's something fun like training for mma, or basketball (I also coach JV high school basketball). Hiking was not something I looked forward to, being hot, bugs, exhaustion. Jalissa really helped me enjoy being in the mountains. Jalissa went from Michigan troll (those who were born under the bridge in lower michigan :D), to Wyoming loving, Wyo Dirt hat wear gal. She's pushed me to get in the outdoors and actually LOVE it.
I recently shared my experience summiting Cloud Peak, a +13,000' high Wyoming peak. It was so physically demanding, I felt terribly sick an hour before hitting the peak. It honestly took a lot of mental push through to make it to the top, a lot. If you don't know what false summits are, they are peaks that look like it's the top...but it's not. Hiking for hours, seeing what you think is the top, but no, it's fake. False. Stupid.
I had to overcome the mental stalling of "not being able to do it." It was super hard. There were so many times when I wanted to turn around and go back down. I just thought I couldn't do it. Luckily, I had a really great group of guys who walked beside me. Pushed me. Encouraged me to keep going. Even though I was tired, I really did want to get to the peak, but their encouragement spurred me forward. Find people who will encourage and lift you up when you "feel" like it's too much to bear. Grab your Wyo Dirt hat, find your close friends, and push each other through the hard things.
(This was the point where I decided to keep on, after 7 hours of hiking! I was so close!)
I had to continually tell myself, "You can't quit now, you are SO close!" At one point I was about 30 minutes from the peak with three other guys. I was so weak and tired, exhausted, and sick. It would be absolutely pointless to turn around being that close, but I could have easily said I'm done and started back down. I think it's super important to realize that point when we are the weakest, because that's when we can change things. I had to stop and say, I know I'm tired, but I really can finish this.
Life's been tough, often. I struggle with anxiety and fear. Those are real things that are difficult to overcome. But pushing through to the peak, was a massive accomplishment that I felt proud of. Pushing through when it feels hopeless, gave me hope when I reached the top.
It was worth every struggle that I endured. Keep on pressing on ya'll. It's worth it.
(Finally, this truly was a magnificent view!)