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A backpacking breakthrough
Every other year my school requires us to embark on a week-long backpacking expedition. For most of my class, the thought of a week straight of hiking—detached from all technology—is daunting. Thankfully, my experiences peaking a few “14ers” (14,000-foot mountains), as well as the wilderness expeditions I’ve participated in as part of a program for young Christian Scientists, strengthened my confidence about being in that environment.
When we arrived at headquarters at the start of the trip, we learned that our group would be breaking the school record for elevation gain and distance hiked. Immediately, the group’s anxiety was palpable, and it was at that moment that I realized I had a choice. I could either join them in feeling worried and afraid, or I could do my best to help lift everyone up. But despite my best attempts to remain a source of positivity and inspiration, after the first day my confidence started to fade, and I was also beginning to feel anxious.
Discouraging, fearful thoughts, such as “We’ll never be able to complete this trail,” began to rush toward me, and I started feeling sick. I had a terrible headache, and my instructors immediately told me to drink more water or I would fall behind on hydrating and never catch up. This was especially important since the next day would be our most challenging day of climbing yet, so I needed to be well rested and hydrated.
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