Change of Address

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7.22.2012

Perceived Limitations

This weekend I learned that I can do hard things...as long as I don't know I'm doing them.

On Saturday evening we set out on a hike that, according to our trusty guidebook, was 3 miles round trip. Em protested when we stuck her in the backpack, as she always does (how insulting to be carried when you are perfectly capable of toddling), but eventually that magical soothing power of nature (and her binky) got to her, and she settled in for the ride. 

The hike begins halfway up a mountain pass, so you get that incredible top-of-the-world feeling from the onset. We wandered through lush trees and vibrant meadows, the trail rather steep at times. I kept expecting our destination lake to be around the next bend, and was seriously tired when we came to a sign telling us it was still a mile a way. Ugh.

My husband and I marveled (an angry sort of marveling) that we'd only come half a mile. It felt like much more, but hey, that's what the book said. I figured we'd turned around, but he urged us on. Even when it started to rain, an abrupt and drenching downpour. The only gray cloud in the sky hung right over our heads, and seemed to be traveling with us. I began to sound like the whiny toddler, with my adult versions of "are we there yet?"


At last we crested a hill and came to the small but stunning lake. We let Em run around--she looked saddle sore after being in the pack for so long--and tried not to get devoured by mosquitoes. Em survived the return hike with the assistance of raisins, fed to her one at a time. Back at the trail head, we learned that the hike was actually six miles round trip. Which explained why it felt so much longer than three. We never would've attempted a six-mile trek with Em, which made me wonder:
how much do our perceived limitations 
keep us from accomplishing?

Now that's a chilling thought. I avoid lots of things because I don't think I'll be able to do them. But what if? How can we test the limits we place on ourselves? How can we be brave enough to try? I guess the only way to discover that you can do hard things is to attempt them...even if it's accidentally.

(Note: I got the term 'perceived limitations' from a card by Eliza Lynn Tobin, which says: "Perched on the edge of my perceived limitations, I can see farther than I ever imagined.")

1 comment:

Jamie Johnson said...

Such a thought-provoking thought! It's hard to do something we don't feel capable of! Maybe I should rephrase my book-writing venture into "recording my thoughts" or something to trick my brain into thinking I'm not doing anything hard! :)