This last week was an experience, to say the least. I love my girls, they can make me laugh like no one else, and we can get on each other's  nerves yet still be able to hug and kiss each other a minute later.


This week was no different as we started out our vacation with a hike to see Looking Glass rock. We've hiked all the time in New York in the past, so we had this under control, or so we thought.


Most state parks tell you how long the trail is and what difficulty level it is. Well, this one didn't have a description so we thought "okay,  it can't be that bad right? Wrong! Dead wrong! 


This was like the hike from hell... except we found out hell is really uphill!


This was no Beginners trail, where the hell were the signs to warn us?
I had just got over 5 days in bed from the flu and a cold that left me half dead. Hiking uphill had me feeling like my lungs were on fire. My legs were screaming as I haven't been to the gym in two weeks, but I would have rather died than to admit defeat so I trudged on feeling like I was 90 years old!


Two hours into the hike,  I started feeling like a five-year-old, constantly nagging everyone we passed coming downhill "are we there yet?", and somehow I was still getting the same answers I got 30 minutes before, an hour after... the same dreaded words: "a little further".

The New Yorker within me wanted to scream "you lying Sob!", but that I remembered that we are in the south and I didn't want them to say, "see them New Yorkers, just like we thought, rude as all...bless their hearts". Yeah... we know what that means, a nice way to tell us to piss off!


I kept going, I was not going to quit as this would result in me never hearing the end of it from my kids. If you knew them then you would know that I would never live it down. No, I chose to finish it  as I told myself, "Girl, you just walked on fire, you got this!".


Two and a half hours after we started this hike, my lungs felt as if they have been exploded, my ankles were rubbed raw as I didn't wear the proper socks, my calves were crying mommy and I was soaking wet even though it was 50 degrees. Finally, we got to the top Looking Glass rock. 4,000 feet above North Carolina, with a view that made us and everyone else who finally reached the top say, "Wow", made it all worth it.


To say that this view was spectacular would be an understatement. It was a breathtaking view of all of Gods glory; the mountains, the trees, the birds. The clouds looked like that were so close to us that we would be able to touch them. Sitting up there made me feel small, and made myself and all my problems feel insignificant. This is what life is all about....our beautiful country, nature, being close to God, knowing what's really important which is life and love, and at this moment I had both.


We were all speechless, and I started thinking about what life is all about.... it's about living in the moment, it's about laughing when you're in pain and don't think that you can go on. It's about the people you love and enjoy spending time with, it's about the things money will never buy you, peace and joy.


Yes, all the pain during the climb was worth that moment. I was truly grateful that I actually did it and got to share this  moment with my girls and my loved ones.


We sat up there for quite a while taking it all in and then we made our way back down with a spring in our step, all impressed that we made this 12-mile hike and knowing that anything is possible if you believe.






"Be the change you want to see"
"And just when the caterpillar thought his life was over...he turned into a beautiful butterfly"

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Published by Francesca Villardi (Treadmill Treats)