Friday date: Battling anxiety
But this is my first blog about a brave-making Friday date.
Cancer motivated Gary and me to launch a weekly date night. And I’ve been keeping these Friday dates. alone. when I’m in town. (Yes, the patheticness of this has already been discussed.)
So this week’s date included a trek up to Green Lakes — 9.2 miles round trip and an 1100-ft elevation gain — beginning with a series of waterfalls as the trail climbs steeper and wanders past wildflowers and patches of snow still hanging around …
… and trees that look as if an eager beaver got a little carried away …
… before coming out on moonscape and then dipping back down to lakeside, with Broken Top standing guard at one end, and South Sister — at 10,363 feet — taking the watch at the other end.
South Sister (all trail photos by Marlys)
Here’s my confession: I woke up Friday morning with anxiety about the hike.
Because I’d never hiked this distance alone. Because what if I couldn’t make it to the top? Because it would be much more comfortable writing from a local coffee shop than hiking uphill.
Which is why I hiked the trail. Because I didn’t want to.
And it was absolutely fun, and challenging, and awe-inspiring. And I paid attention — to the roar of the creek, the tumble of waterfalls, butterflies in flocks (swarms? herds?), wildflower colors, the ability to walk, sweet taste of water, massiveness of mountains, blue-green of lake.
Since anxiety isn’t my norm, and it puzzles me, I did a search for antonyms, for the opposite of fear. These descriptive words came up: Calmness, contentment, confidence, peace, happiness.
But my brain was searching for an action verb.
And then the word courage blipped onto my radar screen.
If courage is the opposite action of anxiety, then I combat anxiety and fear by doing the thing that scares me.
This thought from Donald Miller in his book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years:
The most often repeated commandment in the Bible is, ‘Do not fear.’ It’s in there over two hundred times. That means a couple of things, if you think about it. It means we are going to be afraid, and it means we shouldn’t let fear boss us around.
Fear, and hesitancy, and anxiety, and uncomfortableness, and lack of confidence — these are a guaranteed part of life. We’re human; we’re going to be afraid.
But we carry the choice to rise up in courage as a way of not letting fear push us around.
Oh, and for the record, the last part of my brave-making date produced absolutely no anxiety at all whatsoever: A burger and fries from Bend Burger Co., eaten in Drake Park with a good book and lawn chair while watching the tourists wind their way along river’s edge.
Photo credit: BendBulletin.com
Which begs the question, Is there something you can do in the next day, week, or month that would make you a little braver?
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