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What you receive for just showing up
6/30/2019 | Sheryl McGlochlin
Recently a woman I'll call Mary arrived at our hiking meeting place at 8 AM, on Tuesday, slowly getting out of the Uber car, paid $20 to her driver and was ready to join us hiking. We gather at this location before driving to the trailhead. She didn't own a car, was single, in her 60's, worked from home, lived an isolated, shut-in life, walked with a cane, was very out of shape and overweight. I had met her a few years ago so I was ready for her when I saw her again. I immediately thought "how can I help her not get injured on this hike?" Then I thought "Wow, she put a lot of money and effort just to get here today so she should be treated to a great experience on the mountain!"
We were hiking Neff's Canyon which is a harder hike, especially the further you go, hiking at least 1000 ft. elevation gain within the first part of the trail, depending on how far you go.
I gave her a ride to the trailhead and thanked her for coming. I also told her I wanted to be her coach so she would come often and not get injured. If she got injured she would really experience what it was like to be a shut in.
It was me, however, that learned the most that day...all because of Mary. During the short ride up to Neff's Canyon I told her she could join us but she couldn't hike on the trail. I needed her to promise me she would stay in the parking lot and walk around or sit down and relax and I would do a shorter hike and come back to get her and help her back home.
I wanted her to know ALL of the good things that had already happened to her just for showing up that morning. 1) She woke up early in the morning 2) She got out of bed 3) She got dressed 3) She arranged for transportation to get there
4) She got out of her isolated home 5) Upon arrival she was greeted by several hikers who were kind, caring and welcoming 6) She got to see how beautiful the mornings are overlooking the valley where we meet at 6200 South and Wasatch Blvd. 7) She made some friends in just a few moments with people who have an attitude for being healthy and active 8) She learned their names and learned something about them 9) She got a ride with me into a beautiful nearby canyon 10) Upon arrival she could instantly feel and breathe an abundance of cool, fresh, mountain air 11) The mountain that day looked like something straight out of the Swiss Alps!!! It was drop dead gorgeous!
There were at least 11 great benefits for coming on this hike and this was all before the hike started! She was happy to hang around in the parking lot and stretch and walk a little.
That morning I learned so much that I always take for granted, until Mary came along. I had never thought about all the tiny but significant and incredible benefits we ALWAYS receive BEFORE stepping on the trail.
This is the reason I want to keep trying to encourage more out-of-shape people to attend our hikes EVEN IF YOU CAN'T HIKE AT ALL or can't hike more than 5 minutes. The abundance of benefits of just showing up are pretty impressive!