Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I did a hard thing - I climbed Tabletop

Growing up in southern New Mexico there were mountains around - not real mountains with snow but they were mountains.  One of my friends invited me on a very short day hike to a place the locals called Tabletop.  I over-packed (how I will never know but I guess I thought worse case scenario being a Boy Scout - it was the desert).  I won't lie; as a Scout I thought I was all that and a bag of chips.  So a group of us teenagers got dropped off at the foot of Tabletop.  Soon I was out of breath and had convinced myself that I couldn't make it to the top.  My friends encouraged me.  They told me I could do it but I gave up and sat beside the trail while they finished their hike and I sulked about not being the Scout I thought I was.  I was heartbroken.  Pretty lame thinking back about it now but at the time it was who I was.  I would like to think I am a bit tougher than that now.

Fast forward another year and I had the opportunity to climb Tabletop again.  My ego had been mended.  I packed a little less stuff and mentally prepared myself for the difficult climb.  I watched the spot on the trail where I gave up come and go while I continued on.  Within minutes I was at the top of Tabletop amazed by how close to the top I had given up on my previous trip.   Granted I wasn't 500 feet but I felt just like this Scout in this previous post but I had given up close to the top.  Maybe I am more like my Scouts than I am willing to admit. 

I look back today at my life and am able to recognize which things in my life have been hard.  Some still seem hard and some seem very easy.  I am a stresser and I recognized I spend more time than I need to worrying about things I just don't need to.  

David L. Beck talks a lot about doing hard things with our Scouts.   Scouting should not be a cake walk.  Scouts should always be challenging themselves and sometimes they won't succeed.  If we properly prepare them they should at some point be able to accomplish those things which are hard to do.  Maybe not the first time like my first assent to Tabletop.  I was prepared the second time.  I was mentally ready.  I was more physically ready.  I had fine tuned what I needed for the climb instead of putting everything in my back pack.  Maybe as leaders we should be fine tuning our Scouts.

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