“Do a little more each day that you think you possibly can.” ~Lowell Thomas
Each and every weekday morning I take my usual forty-five minute walk around our neighborhood hill, always taking the same route.
The final push of my walk brings me to a very long and very steep street on that hill, and I always feel myself begin to dread that last, long, difficult and painful portion of my walk as I approach it because I'm already “feeling the burn” from the other inclines and declines I've encountered by then.
And as I get to the starting point for that particularly steep incline, and see it all there before me, menacing as ever, I begin to wonder if I'll make it—begin wondering if I have the juice, the stamina, the energy, the breath in my lungs—and that self-doubt creeps in even though I walk this hill almost every day.
And so I try to loosen myself up, take a few nice long breaths, and try to focus my eyes only on what is in front of me rather than the grandness and the entirety of the hill; I put one foot in front of the other and begin my trek up, step by step, breath by breath.
And some days it's relatively easy to get through that last stretch up that hill, especially on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays when I'm still a bit more energized from the weekend's break. But come Thursday and Friday, I feel myself huffing and puffing more than I'd like to, ready to just get through with it and be done already.
Once I begin that menacing climb and ultimately make it to the top of that monster of a hill, I begin to feel my breathing slow, and begin to feel myself getting a stronger pace back on a nice flat portion that will now only decline from that point on...
I can feel that sense of energy return, and a gratitude and invigoration begin to bubble up to my surface, and I find myself so very glad that I indeed walked that hill and conquered it, once again.
...I am so often surprised to find those gems within me—that final burst of energy—that I never knew existed until I was forced to go into those deeper layers where so much of the magic happens and brilliance is revealed.
I find myself glad to have given what felt like the last ounce of energy that I had to it, because it reminds that there is always more miraculously hidden there within me to give than I realized; and that is a gift to experience, this breakthrough to the other side of the wall...
For me that hill is beautifully representative of so many things in my life that require me to push through, even when I don't feel like I have it in me to push anymore. Do you know that feeling?
It's that feeling of emptiness, of being depleted, of not having anything left to give...
Many times when I sit down to write, I feel like there are no more words or thoughts left to offer. Or when it's time for me to come up with and create new recipes, there seems to be no inspiration to tap into, no fresh ideas or creativity left.
But somehow, when I sit down to write in spite of feeling empty, or get into my kitchen to cook in spite of feeling uncreative, that is when I am so often surprised to find those gems within me—that final burst of energy—that I never knew existed until I was forced to go into those deeper layers where so much of the magic happens and brilliance is revealed.
And while throwing in the towel, or quitting, or giving up can seem like a perfectly reasonable, justified, and good idea at times, the truth is, there's always just a little bit more left to give in order to push through towards that breakthrough.
It is in those times when we don't think we have any push left in us that we must climb that menacing hill anyway, putting one foot in front of the other, huffing and puffing if necessary, until we make it to the top on what feels like only fumes...
But it's in those last remaining fumes where all the magic happens.
Taste what's good and pass it on.