Choosing to Live

Next week will be one year since I lost my dad. One year since I became an orphan. 

To honor that day, I’ve made myself an appointment to hike the Manitou Incline. 

One mile of stairs. 

2,768 steps. 

An elevation gain of 2,000ft. 

For over six years, the Incline has become the place I go, to physically feel the pain of my grief and to also remember the beauty that co-exists. 

But this year, I’m struggling to keep my appointment. 

It was a mere six months ago that I had knee replacement surgery. 

While I am making progress, the timeline of my recovery has been significantly slower than the timeline I had played out in my head. 

The hope I had for being strong enough to make it to the top of the Incline is waning and I wonder now if I can even make it half way.

Do I risk trying knowing I might fail? 

If failure means not making it to the top, my answer is YES.

But I’m not failing when I’m choosing to live. 

My choice to show up and honor the life of my dad. Honor the life of my mom. Honor the life that I’m still living here. That will be a win. 

Whether or not I ascend 2,768 steps to the top of the Incline, is not the victory. One step will be the victory. And each step after that my body allows me to take, will be the victory. 

Wherever you find yourself today, let’s not allow our pain or the pain of those we love to make us smaller. 

Instead, let’s take the first step, one step, toward more life. More freedom. More healing.  

“A Journey of 1000 miles begins with one step.” Lao Tzu