True story: I was hiking alone in Colorado two years ago. I was upset over my divorce, feeling slighted by the universe, trying to work through my own frustrations and disappointments. So without thinking I jumped on a trail and just started hiking. I didn’t care where it took me and I only had a half bottle of water with me.
The trail got a little confusing. “Ugh, WHATEVER I’ll find my way.”
I ended up on the backside of the mountain miles away from the parking lot. With no water.
I hear voices through the trees. Men. As a woman, the natural thoughts that flow: “Who are these guys and how bad could this get?” “Am I safe?” I scope them out through the trees and I don’t feel any weird vibes so as they are walking by I casually asked them “hey, is the parking lot right over here?” And the leader said “We’ve been hiking for 5 hours. You’re nowhere near the parking lot. Take out your map and we’ll show you.”
“Um, I don’t have a map and I ran out of water.” - by this moment I feel like a complete IDIOT.
“Why don’t you walk back with us? Unfortunately the only way back is to climb over the mountain… again.”
I had no choice. Clenching my jaw so I didn’t start crying, I agreed to it.
The leader’s name was Jim. That’s my Dad’s name so I’m like… Divine Sign? Maybe this guy isn’t going to chop me up. Not really how I want to go TBH.
He talked to me, shared his water, and kept me company the whole way out. At the end he said “I know why this happened. You’re mad about something and you just wanted to come out here and work it out on the trail, I’ve done that too. I’m glad you ran into us and you’re safe.” Compassion and understanding from a stranger has never felt so good.
A few hours later and with swollen hands, I shook Jim’s hand, thanked him for literally saving my life and walked back to my car. I sat in my car relieved, in disbelief and needing Pedialyte.
Sometimes we will kill ourselves trying to do it alone. Find a group of people who can lead you when you’re not yourself. #LIFETEAM