What Grand Canyon Taught Me About Commitment
Actually I have personally always believed in Commitment but hiking Grand Canyon last weekend concretized it a bit more for me.
As my wife said, “There is no chicken exit”
There is a saying (and a sign too)
“Going down is optional…Coming up is mandatory”
From the stories I heard and my own experience it seems that if you are ambulatory and able …you get yourself into the canyon and you get yourself out of the canyon. There is no, “I don’t want to do it anymore because (insert invalid excuse here)”
The canyon does not accept excuses.
Unless you need medical attention the Park Rangers are unavailable. There is a story of a particular Ranger who worked down at the ranch at the bottom who, when presented with excuses, would say, “Your emergency is not necessarily my emergency.”
That may seem callous but the Rangers must differentiate between hikers who legitimately need help and those who give up because they overestimated their ability or underestimated the canyon by being ill prepared for the hike.
What a powerful lesson in commitment. Too often our culture says it is OK to quit when things get tough or we just don’t want to do it anymore.
When I finished my hike and was able to look back over what I had done, tears welled up as the magnitude of what I had done sank in.
Now, I have earned the right to say, “I did that!” And the things I was able to see and experience along the way would have been missed had I given in to invalid excuses. It was physically and mentally challenging at a level I have not experienced before and I am glad I did it. I pushed through, finished what I started and now I have a treasure of experiences that make it worth the effort.
Those who have ears to hear…let them hear.