Grandfather mountain

Last weekend, my hubby and I had the opportunity to go to the mountains.  One of my #37in37 items was to climb Grandfather Mountain…even though the weather was not optimal, we headed out anyway.  My friend was nice enough to let us stay in her condo…thank you Christy!

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We left the kiddos with Grandma, and headed to Blowing Rock for a quick lunch before hitting the hiking trails.

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Saturday afternoon was pretty wet and cold, but the Nuwati Trail was gorgeous enough to not worry about the messy weather.

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I did not have the best hiking footwear, so there was a lot of slipping and sliding.  Luckily, there was a stream to rinse off!

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Bridge under a bridge.

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After our hiking adventure, we headed back to shower and get cleaned up for dinner.  Our former babysitter, and member of our church youth team waits tables at The Pedalin Pig.  This was a wonderful idea…great food and great service.  I loved seeing her all grown up and professional! (did I mention the homemade pork rinds? YUM!)

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Round Two!  We woke up early on Sunday morning to go at it again.

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We hiked a different trail this time, and the views were gorgeous.  There is something really amazing about being in nature.  We both felt really serene and grounded.

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About halfway down the mountain, I had to stop.  I became overwhelmed with so many emotions.   I was in tears, but my heart was singing.  I felt so loved and supported by my rock of a husband.  I felt really proud of my strong body for climbing a mountain.  I am so grateful for this amazing life.

A few years ago my heart did not sing.  It ached.  A few years ago my body did not feel strong. it was weak. A few years ago, I did not feel loved and supported.

When I was diagnosed with UC, my world fell apart for a period of time. I was sick.  I was in pain. I was exhausted all the time.  I was depressed and anxious.  I missed work, dinners with friends, church services, and family events.  I was on an extremely high dose of prescription medication including anti-inflammatories and sporadic rounds of steroids.  I thought I was going to live in pain forever, lose my colon, or even die.  I remember I told my husband to go ahead and leave me.  I thought he and the kids could just start over and he could find a happy healthy wife to take my place.

We stopped at a little clearing during this time in our hike–gaining composure while gaining perspective.   Ulcerative Colitis , like many others is a “hidden” disease.  If I was not so open about it, not many people would know I have it.  But I do.  And it is chronic.  This is a disease I will have forever and ever.  But I am NOT my disease.  I will not BE my disease.  I choose to fight back everyday and do whatever I can to live my journey.

And what a journey.  It has been such a beautiful journey…and I love that we are so high up now.  There is no traffic up here.  I am off of that hamster wheel, I got off of the roller coaster.  I like to think that we live our lives on a monorail now.  Nobody wants to ride the monorail.  What is wrong with people?  They think it is boring.  I love a good monorail.  Think about it.  It is high in the sky, so you can see the big picture.  It is usually air conditioned and they bring you red wine and cupcakes. (stay with me here…)  The downs are really small and the ups are really small too.

I think they call that balance.  <3

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