I think that sometimes in life hard things happen unexpectedly, like the death of a loved one or a relationship gone bad.
But sometimes, hard things come as a result of the choices that we make.
I tend to make choices that force me to do hard things. Often I wish that I could be content with just kicking back to relax and watch the world go by.
But that’s not who I am…
The past year has been the most challenging year of my life.
It’s been harder than anything I did during my 17 years in the military, including deployments to Iraq.
It’s been harder than delivering a baby without an epidural.
It’s been harder than being a competitive athlete and racing and training full time.
It’s been harder than the “ups” and “downs” of starting and growing Hike Like A Woman.
It’s been…roll up your sleeves, get busy, make mistakes, try to learn from mistakes, feel defeated, wanna quit, cry in the shower, kinda hard.
It’s been scary.
It’s been unpredictable.
At times it’s been a failure.
At times it’s been been a success.
It’s been exhausting.
It’s been this.
It’s been a wild ride.
A year ago when I bought this business I’d never worked a day of retail in my life. I didn’t know anything about the outdoor industry aside what I’d learned through Hike Like A Woman. I didn’t have any connections in the business community. I didn’t know how to lead a small team of outdoor enthusiasts. I didn’t have a mentor and I certainly didn’t have a clue what I was doing.
But I did it anyway.
Today’s Basecamp’s first birthday.
Maybe I’m feeling a sense of relief that we made it an entire year, or maybe I’m feeling overwhelmed thinking about what we need to do to make it another year.
Regardless it’s cause for reflection.
Reflection on what went well.
Reflection on what I could have done better.
Reflection on how grateful I am to so many people who have offered sage advice, words of encouragement, chats over endless pots of peppermint tea and friendship.
As a chronic overachiever, it’s easy to feel bruised, broken and tattered.
It’s easy to feel like life just sucks sometimes.
It’s easy to feel defeated.
But can I offer up one piece of advice?
Do the hard things anyway.
Do the things that you know are going to cause sleepless nights and stress.
Do the hard things that are going to challenge you beyond what you think you are capable of.
Do the hard things that will force you to grow.
Do you want to start a business?
Do you want to move to a new town or find a new job?
Do you want to go back to school? To learn to paint? To learn to speak Russian? To leave a bad relationship? To be a better friend? To mentor a child? To hike the Appalachian Trail?
Do it. Do it. Do it. Do it. Do it.
Embrace the fear and get ready to fail.
But take the first step and do it.
Do the hard things because they’ll make you tougher than you already are.
Do the hard things and let us cheer you on from the sidelines.
You’ve got this.
You can do it.
Do the hard things.