Friday, January 4, 2013

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

So I picked my photo, congrats to me – haha!  I chose this particular photo because it reminds me of a day that I felt surprisingly POWERFUL and VICTORIOUS.  I’m not a very “outdoorsy” person, I can be fairly athletic and somewhat coordinated, but I don’t really enjoy participating in sports.  I’m not fast, athletically strategic, and well…….I’ll be honest, I don’t tolerate discomfort well.  However, I can be competitive and more specifically, self-competitive.

On the morning of this photo, I and a bunch classmates (of all ages) in a summer ministry class were challenged, rather, assigned to climb a mountain to push our limits and get out of our “comfort zone”.  Surprisingly, my first gut reaction was to “go for it”……..until…..I got to the foot of the steep mountain and then I had second thoughts!  Being one of the more “middle-aged” participants I just envisioned myself failing at this task, passing out and having to be carried off the mountain – embarrassing!  But that self-competitive mode kicked in and I made the decision that I was NOT going to give into the fear of failure, not that morning!!  So I paired myself with my friend, who herself, is super competitive, and  because looking at the top of the mountain was overwhelming, I purposed myself to keep my head down and just take down that mountain step by step. 

Did I stop a couple of times to catch my breath?  Yup!  Did my legs burn and feel like rubber?  Surprisingly, no!  You see, here is the secret I learned that day:  I AM STRONGER THAN I THINK I AM.  I  marched to my own pace and I made it to the top.  I made it to the top just after my teenage classmates!!!  I was SO proud of myself!!  In fact, every single one of my classmates made it to the top, and it was an awesome exercise for us because it changed our view about ourselves FOREVER!

Today, I know there is something that you’ve been afraid to start, but don’t look at the top of your mountain.  Keep your head down, take it step by step, pause to take a breather when you need it and CONQUER that mountain!  YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE! 

-Tessa L. Charles


  1. That exercise sounds so great! I'm proud that all of you made it to the top...such an encouraging story! I've learned to be happy with myself and how I can choose to live positively everyday. I genuinely live at peace with all that I am & my accomplishments. I'm not the kind of person that gets embarrassed very easily, and I feel that I do take a lot of risks and step out of my comfort zone a lot...but when it comes to my physical abilities, THAT's when I keep myself out & just watch...even with just working out, I'd rather do it by myself. This way I don't fail other & I don't fail myself...I tend to psych myself out before I even start...I tend to only push myself just before barely even reaching my limit & then make excuses why I didn't do more. I've felt in the past (& still occasionally to this day) like I'm the girl that people wanted to hang out with cuz I'm funny and nice...but never got picked to be on their an adult I've learned to accept myself and my see the worth that I have...but I know that I still need to work on pushing beyond my perceived limits...Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. Outstanding! You sound like you're almost to the top of YOUR mountain! All you need is that last little push.

    When we went on this "hike" I never realized how much I would end up enjoying it, and I think the reason I did was because I had to push myself at the very end. The last part of the climb was steep enough that if I wasn't careful I could have fallen quite a long way. It was literally like climbing a ladder. I ended up being by myself and I nearly turned back, but I repeatedly told myself, out loud, "You can do this. One step at a time, you can do this."

    Since that day, I (and my friend)have made hiking a part of our recreation routine. So let me you some words of wisdom my friend's husband told me once when he came hiking with us on a different, steep, long, narrow, hike. I was struggling and I admitted my doubts about reaching the top. As he passed me up he simply said with a chuckle, "Come on, you were made for this.", it was such a powerful statement to me that I had to say, "You're right!"

    The next time you find yourself in a tough spot (and not just in a physically challenging one), wanting to turn back, remember you are stronger than your circumstance, take your time and just "KILL IT". The strength you expend will be NOTHING compared to the strength you'll gain.

    Thanks for your response, you're AWESOME!!