Have you ever sat back and thought about something you’d love to do, but then thought “God, there’s no way I could ever do that.”
For me, that thing was to hike what’s known as the Signal Hill Trail. For those of you from far reaching places, Signal Hill is 500 feet high, and it’s the sight where Marconi, in 1901, received the first transatlantic wireless signal. This is Marconi… he looks pretty stoked, doesn’t he?
For me though, the hill was more than a National Historic site. It became a roadblock — something that I thought that I’d never be able to overcome. I can think back to times in my life where people close to me would head out to the trail to hike the hill, and I’d sheepishly back off and head on down to the basement for another burger or two. It would never be brought up as an option to join in on the fun because it was clear that I was in no shape to do that kind of thing.
It was a point of shame, in a way. Shame that I wasn’t healthy enough to attempt the climb to the top, that I’d let myself slip to a point where I couldn’t do the things “normal” people do. It set me apart from the people who are enjoying life, seeing the world, and loving every second of it.
It, for me, was a symbol of my fear. The mountain I would never climb.
Well today I climbed it.
I sucked wind like a Hoover on crack, but I made it to the top.
Each step felt like I was pounding back the years of doubt that I had built up in my own mind. It’s funny what you think of when your body is under duress like that.
I didn’t do it on my own. The support that Caitlin has given me throughout this whole process has been tremendous, and I am so blessed to have her in my life. She is, as my Mother pointed out, a keeper.
Today was a huge leap forward for me, not only physically — but psychologically.
I’m no longer the man huddled in a darkened basement hiding fast food wrappers. I am the man that moves. The man that has stepped out of his shame, and into a life I’m proud to live.
I am the man I once envied.
And that is an incredible feeling.