Quandary

It was mid-day Thursday, March 28, and we were up somewhere above 13,000 feet on Quandary Peak, a 14,250-foot peak in Colorado’s Ten-Mile Range. After having gotten lost for 2 hours in the dark (the hike was meant to be a full-moon hike), running out of water, getting into an argument, and being up there for much too long; I was at the end of my rope. I fell to my knees so many times in the snow. I literally cried as I walked at points – my heels and calves were killing me from the constant strain of walking up the 45 to 50-degree slope. The inner peace I’d called upon learned from the hours of yoga and meditation was gone, gone; along with my mind it seemed. We’ve done hikes, rides, etc as tough as this in the past but I’d never flipped out like that before – my philosophy has always been in those situations that losing my cool would only hurt things and never help. So in the past I’ve always bit my tongue and soldiered on.

I don’t know what it was about that day – our legs were tired from several days in a row of working out and we’d definitely underestimated how much it would take to summit this mountain in the winter, but in a way it doesn’t really matter. What mattered that day was that every time I fell down he was there behind me waiting for me to pick myself back up. He wouldn’t let me give up – even when I begged him to and told him it didn’t matter to me anymore. He knew I didn’t really want to quit – I just needed him to give me a reason to walk another 10 feet.

“Try counting 5 steps and then taking a break,” he coaxed.

“We’re so close. We can’t stop now.” He insisted.

“Just rest. We have time,” he reassured.

There were moments I was so angry at him for not letting me stop, but one thing was certain; I needed him to get to the top. And he got me there, after 6 long hours and never wavering despite all my wheedling, crying, cursing. I never needed him more than when I needed him that day, and he was there for me every second even though he was suffering so much too. That still blows my mind.

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