Last weekend, I crossed a new threshold in my life and got a reminder of an important truth that I had lost touch with. It is true for me and it is true for you.



luka and me walking

First, the pain.

On Sunday morning, after a night of camping with friends near Vail, we took what I thought was going to be a 4 mile round-trip hike. Instead, we hiked 14 miles in 10 hours.




This was the longest hike I have ever done in my life. And, I must be honest, parts of it were not so pretty. (Talking about me, obvs, the scenery was gorgeous-- ha).

Pano 1

At mile 6, as we hit a final very steep ascent to the lake, I was exhausted. Mile 9? I was DONE. I was completely out of water and my feet ached. But, no. Turns out. I had hit my 40%.


Ben, my ultra-marathon running fiancé has shared with me a Navy Seal phrase that is big in the ultra-running community:


When your mind is telling you that you’re done, that you’re too exhausted, that you cannot possibly go one step further, you’re actually only 40% done.

I was totally and completely DONE and we still had 5 miles left. At this point, Luka was falling asleep every time we stopped. And, of course, Talus, like Ben, was showing no signs of fatigue.


I’ll be honest:  if there was any way I could have gotten out of that situation without taking one more step, I would have grabbed it. However, like all the best tests in life, the only way out was through. I finished that hike (I may have complained along the way, but I FINISHED and Ben earned yet more patience points that he can cash in any time).


And this is the part I want to share with you. Now that my leg muscles no longer feel like they are crinkly dog chew toys and I can walk again: 


I am so glad we did it. I have a new and deeper pride in myself. This hike is a point of pride in my life I can touch on again and again when I face something I think I cannot do.

Then, the joy.

Besides showing myself that I am capable of so much more than I think, the hike and the lake were spectacular. This is the kind of spot that is so untouched by humans, that it has no road access and can only be seen by doing the hard work of hiking in, that it is incredibly magical and special. There were wild goats, beautiful glacier water, and more Marsh Marigolds than anyone could ever count.

meadow of marsh marigolds

Despite what I may have thought or felt during the most challenging parts of the hike, what I can see clearly now is that the pain is temporary. What I have now is FOREVER:  a hard-won accomplishment that I have completed something that didn’t seem possible.

marsh maragolds

I share this the next time you are feeling you are beyond done-- heads up, you’re only at 40%. 


You GOT this!


Thanks for reading,



me with backpack