This is a time of year that many people reflect on the past 11 months, try to understand themselves and bring their ups and downs into relevancy. Soul searching in a way to convince themselves that the year has brought their lives to a higher plain.
Are we seeing the honest truth or is our mirror distorted by a convex view? Do we see our true selves or merely an image of who we want to be? Perhaps what we should see is the reflection of who we want to be rather than who we are.
Until recently I thought a mirror should be honest and reflect who we really are, but after reading about a couple's passion to hike the Appalachian trail, I realized the mirror's job was totally different.
If one looks in the mirror and sees a reflection of a non-hiker,a non-runner, a non anything, then perhaps that is all they are and all they will ever be.
In this reading, the hiking couple apparently looked in the mirror and saw the reflection of two people with huge backpacks on, wearily smiling from ear to ear as they take the last step of their journey.
They saw this same reflection every time they looked in the mirror, regardless of what obstacle was thrown in front of them. They did not quit after hiking more than 1500 miles and being forced to stop because of an injury that postponed the continuation of their journey for a year. No, they still looked in the mirror and not only saw the projected end of their trek, but took that last step of the journey together three years later.
If the mirror only reflected their current image then perhaps they would never had finished the hike. I am envious that I didn't take on a journey like theirs, envious that I didn't have a personal relationship that paralleled theirs. Two people on the exact same wavelength, wanting the same end result and having the willpower and tenacity to see it through.
Yes, I am impressed and somewhat jealous as my journey at their age was so different and uncontrolled. perhaps adventures like theirs are long past for me but surely there are still images to be reflected from my mirror.
I now believe I should view things differently and use the past as great memories but not as a means to judge my capabilities. Even at my age, my future is still what ever image the mirror can show me.
I no longer need to reflect on last years or the last decades accomplishments. Instead I have to discount the true reflection of my past and embrace the distorted image of who I want to be.
I will be 54 in two weeks. My dad passed away when he was 54. He was feeble as I remember and I believe when he looked in the mirror he saw a feeble reflection of a once great and strong man. Perhaps if he had seen something other than the truth, he might have stayed around longer. The mind is a very strong tool and as I have seen with ultra running and the couple hiking, it is the mind that allows a person to finish the journey.
Reading the couples journey reminded my of the many times my dad took us hiking. We could descend Mt Washington in record time without injuries. He had no problem keeping up with us kids and he taught us so much about nature and the respect of it. It is his legacy I cherish as I run the trails and experience the excitement of what might be around the next tree or over the next rock. Once us kids moved on, he stopped his adventures.....I don't remember him ever hiking again.....I really don't know why.
My dad died on June 4th in his 54th year on this earth. I think it makes sense for me to climb Mt Washington on that day of my 54th year as a tribute to him and all he taught me. Perhaps his essence will meet me up there one more time.