It is a Little Like Hiking up a Mountain

On Mt. Sterling Trail in GSMNP

You know in advance it is going to be a challenge. Depending on fitness level and terrain and weather conditions, the challenge will be more or less. Like a lot of things in life, the only way to get in trail shape is to go out on the trail and hike. The more frequently a body can get out on the trail the more conditioned one gets.

My first ‘hike’ was an 8 mile strenuous jaunt to Ramsey Cascades in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. I had 2 of my sons, a daughter-in-law and a friend along on this adventure. I had a great idea about how conditioned I was because I worked out, actually teaching fitness classes and karate classes at the dojo. I worked out regularly several times a week.

I quickly figured out that being in shape is relative. I did what I did, and I knew what I knew, but I knew nothing about this. By the time we were coming back out I could barely walk. I had the wrong shoes, my pack was too heavy, my walking staff cumbersome and also too heavy. Each step I took hurt. It hurt from the bottoms of my feet all the way up the length of my body. It felt like someone had taken a hammer and beat the soles of my feet.

I had led the charge up the trail but now I hobbled out, my eldest son at my side, knowing I hurt and knowing my ‘pride’ was as battered as the bottoms of my feet; he walked beside me and we talked about everything but my pain. He was steady and calm as I hobbled out of the forest much wiser than when I strutted in.

Life is full of lessons, some are small, some monumental, and some are painful. Going away from this hike, I could have gone one of 2 ways. I could have said “that hurt too much and it wasn’t worth it,” or I could have and did say “the payoff was extraordinary and I am going to make a few adjustments here and we are going to do this again.”

This is my first business venture. It is proving to be a challenge. I started out a little naive here, but I am getting into business shape. I know what I know, which isn’t nearly enough, but with each step I take I am learning. There are skill sets I do not have. I don’t have to have them all, I am not alone. I have a partner. Together, we have run into a few obstacles, it seems like they pop up in the most random unexpected places. I am learning a few painful lessons. I refuse to accept that my mistakes will be the defining feature of this effort. Like that long ago hike, my partner is walking beside me, steady, upbeat and calm. Every problem has a solution. Every mistake has a correction. We are making adjustments as we go along, getting everything together and ready to roll out.

Like my hiking adventures, I do believe that if you hang in there with us, the payoff is going to be extraordinary.

Folks, this is going to be fun!

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