I’m working with several people in the midst of decision-making- BIG decisions like career changes and relocation of their family. And at the time of writing we are in the midst of significant global and national crises for extra change challenge measure.
This morning while running a new trail system, I was thinking about decisions for myself and others. As I ran, I came to this fork: left option keeps the flat (ish) and right goes up…
My high level of Enneagram 3 kicked in and I chose up.
Not 50 feet later I saw a fellow trail runner coming down… but she was skidding and slipping and sliding down. I jumped to the side and she regained her footing and kept running. While watching her helplessly I did notice she was wearing trail shoes, sturdy ones, with ankle support. Trail shoes have extra “grip” for traction. But even with the best equipment she was challenged on that section of trail.
I looked down at my own shoes…
And I turned back to the lower trail.
Because these are NOT trail shoes- these are great for pavement or even dirt trails or pea gravel trails, but not rocks and roots kind of trails.
I was not adequately equipped for the climb OR the descent on the harder ridge trail today. And I really, really wanted to be.
In decision-making, it’s important to take an honest inventory of our whole person and gauge our readiness as we contemplate certain challenges. It may also be that our equipment and resources have been used up in previous treks- perhaps we just came from a section of trail that depleted our energy, food and water supply and we need to restock. This is not to say that we should never take risk and stretch ourselves. But wisdom, discernment and others’ counsel should inform our consideration of what level of equipment is necessary for the next path. And more importantly, is my equipment ready, stocked, usable?
I continued on the flat (ish) path for awhile and then turned back towards the trailhead- I still wanted one good climb to round out the run. (I’m a 1 but my 3 is really high… for those who speak Enneagram!)
As I made my way back to the last section, another fork (aka opportunity) presented itself. And it was perfect – not too steep, terrain that my shoes could handle on the up and down- just the level of challenge I was equipped to take on today.
Not only did I get one last climb, but I took in some incredible handiwork on the way down.
Saying no to one challenge doesn’t mean we are closing the door on ANY challenge. But sometimes waiting, doubling back and re-evaluating will take us to the opportunity that better fits this season and stage.
And the flatter trail is the closest to some beautiful views. The best views aren’t ONLY at the summit.
Sometimes our season is one of recovery and renewal. We are coming out of an extremely stressful, depleting or painful part of our life journey and it is all we can do to maintain forward on the smoothest, flattest path.
And that’s ok too. In fact knowing that you need flat today is more than ok. Recognizing limits of equipment or stamina or both and choosing with honest evaluation of resources calls on self-awareness and wisdom, both of which are hard-earned.
Taking honest inventory is a critical element of choosing your next trek wisely. Reach out for a free consultation to see if our services here at High Places might help you take inventory as you choose YOUR next trek!