Doing Hard Things

What was I thinking ?!?!?

My friend Mary had talked me into going on this trip.  She had talked me into d-tasseling corn too.  I should have known.

Mary was out-doorsey.  I was not.  This was to be a camping, whitewater rafting, climb out of the Grand Canyon adventure.

I didn’t do adventures.  I read adventures.  I was a bona fide, certified, hardcore bookworm.

Mary was my best friend. She was silly, goofy, fun to be around and persuasive.

It was the 1970’s.  I look back on this experience as one of the most thrilling and hardest things I’ve  ever done in my life.  Whitewater rafting was thrilling.

The ascent out of the Grand Canyon was just plain hard.

Up until that trip, my one experience camping was an overnight, under the stars with Mary, in her front yard, camp out.

At this point I must insert a tidbit of personal info.  My DNA shows I am 56% Irish.  Dark Irish. Dark auburn hair,  blue eyes, fair skin with freckles Irish.  I was/am white white, pale white, pure white. As one of my classmates put it, blinding white.

I do not do well in heat.

There was a reason I stayed indoors and read.

When it came time to climb out of the Grand Canyon, Mary set a goal to be one of the first of our group to make it to the top.  She said goodby to me when I started to slow down.  As the temperature rose, I emotionally spiraled.  Looking ahead, there were miles of switchback trail ahead of me.  I hoped just to make it to the top by sundown!  Other than the occasional passerby, some on mules, I was alone.  I honestly didn’t know if and how I was going to make it.

I was athletic, playing several different sports – but this, this was different. This was grueling, testing me to my limits.  I was in a hard place.  In the end it came down to focusing on one thing… one step at a time.

I learned something that day.  Face the hard thing head on, and take one step at a time.  Then take the next step.  I saw what I was capable of.  I do possess determination,  fortitude, tenacity, and courage.


Google Image  Grand Canyon switchbacks 

I took another journey recently … life changing.  Every bit as hard as climbing out of the Grand Canyon.

I signed up for a class called The Ultimate Journey.

I heard  many positive things about it.  One lady said she had been in counseling for years and this class helped her more than all the years of counseling combined.  Hmm

Was I afraid to face the past? Yes!

Hard Thing- step one.  sign-up for class.

Hard Thing – step two- Go to first class.

Hard Thing-  step three – Go to second class.

Next thing I know, I’m looking forward to class and I was sad when it ended.

I made friends.  I’m more peaceful. There is freedom.  I am more compassionate with myself and others.


I wrote this quote on our blackboard as a reminder:

“When it is all said and done, we’re all just walking each other home.” Ram Dass.



Google image


This was another in a series of guest posts…this one written by my wife.  DM


11 thoughts on “Doing Hard Things

  1. One step at a time…that is all that anyone can ask, and it’s amazing how far you go just by simply taking one more step. Thanks Wife of DM, for sharing this story and your journey 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • DM here Scott 🙂 There are @ least three things that come to mind as you say we sound similar in our writing…98% of the words are hers.. BUT, after 37 years of co-habitation people do begin to sound and look more a like… ever notice that? 😉 Secondly, both of us enjoy Robert Fulghum’s writing (and I know his style of writing definitely has shaped my writing probably hers as well. thirdly, I encouraged her to use the 600 word count “cap” on her blog post if she did writing so maybe that gives it some of that feel (when I write, that word count informs what I delete and what I save from an original rough draft of a post) Fourth, I did make just a couple of phrase I’m sure you may be picking up on some of those as well.:-)

      Liked by 1 person

        • I don’t believe so, but since I have pretty much read all of Fulghum’s books,I will check her out. I am old school when it comes to the feel of a real book in my hands (hard cover even better) so I usually try to find used hard cover copies on Amazon for a few bucks. thanks for the tip Bee! 🙂 DM

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought it was DM writing this! and I was thinking it was pretty cool your bff was a girl! I agree with Scott – you two do have a similar voice in writing.
    Perseverance is a good thing – I’m a big fan. I love that quote by Ram Dass as well – thanks for reminding me of it. and thanks for sharing your story Mrs. DM. Glad you made it to the top – hopefully without a sunburn…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought ot was DM too. 🙂 I enjoyed the story, I can relate to that one step at a time painful feeling. We had not climbed out of the Grand Canyon yet, I don’t think kids could handle it yet (or me!!), but when we were hiking in and out of Bryce canyon Utah, last spring, my 5 year old said: I think this never ends, we will be going and going and going until we are grandpas and grandmas. 🙂 He saw many older people hiking and he thought we will turn that way before we get out of that place. 🙂
    May your steps be soft and peaceful. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice to hear from your other half. I agree to the comments on your similar writing styles…. thought it was you DM until the last sentence 🙂 can totally relate 1. Irish here too…can’t do heat 2. Similar experience years ago on Mt. Fuji…only it included getting lost as well! 3. I always do this thing where I break hard things down into “one step at a time”, it’s totally my thing. My daughter knows it well! I like to write it down/journal it. Often times my step 1 is “breathe”. Enjoyed this!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. MM, what a marvelous post! The beginning of your post reminds me of why I want to get our kids (and me, of course) into hiking…because I think it teaches exactly what you say here– perseverance, a sense of one’s own abilities, that whole “one step at a time– and eventually you get there” mentality. My younger daughter definitely has not learned this yet and it’s something I can’t let her enter adulthood without knowing…all that “perceived pain” is only in and of the moment and there is A LOT we can push through!
    The second part– so glad you did Ultimate Journey! When I first heard you were going to do this, I looked it up online and was really impressed. Made me wish I could do something similar. (Maybe I will still find something similar). So glad you did it and found it so useful!
    And lastly– that quote from Ram Dass is my best friend’s favorite quote. It is beautiful and cannot be repeated too often.
    So glad you guest posted!

    Liked by 1 person

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