This is a two-fold post: a story about feelings, and a lesson learned. And a photo tour of my Solar Eclipse Hike at Greeter Falls. You might enjoy the hiking photos more, so feel free to scan through for some fun scenery (and my low carb meals & macros).
Or the story might pique your interest more, and the lesson might prove as helpful to you as it did me. Or perhaps both.:) Either way, I hope you enjoy it…
You can’t control what other people might say or do – or think of you.
You can control your reaction to to those things: what you choose to feel or do about it. As just one example.
I’ve talked a lot about that here over the years, in my recent Low Carb Classes and also along the way – like in this post about dealing with tough stuff (and whether you allow that to derail you from your health & weight loss goals).
I had a hard time writing this post for two reasons. First, because my site kept going down 🙄 lol. And second, because it feels very personal to “share it out loud.”
Lately I’ve been feeling lonesome.
You may have noticed I haven’t been out as much. I haven’t been hiking twice a week like I used to, haven’t been out dancing, haven’t been hitting my home workouts as hard as I would like to either.
Motivation comes from commitment, and action. Confidence comes from achieving things. FUN comes from getting out and doing things – that are fun.
It’s easy to get caught up on the wrong end of that cycle: not committing because you don’t feel motivated, not taking action out of lack of confidence, not getting out and doing fun things… because your “fun side” seems to be on vacation 😛 etc.
I know better (and so do you). The positive results come from taking ACTION and making things happen in your life. Otherwise you just get caught up in the flow of everyday life, and worse: other people’s decisions. Right?
Feelings are fickle, and they are definitely NOT something you want to revolve your life around, or base your decisions on – ever.
Getting back to my fun, adventurous hikes and my consistent workouts has been a BIG goal for me lately.
I’ve had all kinds of reasons (excuses), like being super busy with work (true) or not having a fun “adventure buddy” to get out with – which has NEVER stopped me before! – or not having (or “feeling”) the energy… which we all known is one of those chicken & egg situations: physical activity & exercise increases your energy!
The grand astrological event this week seemed like the perfect opportunity to get out and do something FUN, even if alone. And admittedly, I headed out feeing very UNFun and quite lonesome that day. But I headed out anyway…
My first stop: the fun & cool Smooth Rapids kayaking store on the river to get a pair of eclipse safety glasses for my Solar Eclipse hiking adventure. 🙂
Actually, prior to that I was filling up at the gas station and on the phone with Smooth Rapids just to make sure they still had the glasses in stock.
A kind lady overheard my conversation, as she was pumping gas on the other side of the same pump, and leaned around to ask, “Did you find a pair?”
I did, yes! She smiled and said oh good, I have three extra pair in case you didn’t. They were all the way out at her house in the middle of nowhere, but she kindly offered them to me anyway!
That made me smile. People can be so kind, and actually care about others – and even go out of their way to show it. 🙂
The line at Smooth Rapids was quite long with other people buying up Eclipse Glasses at the last minute too, but it was a very bubbly and social line with lots of fun chatter about the day – which also made me smile.:)
I headed out from there, ironically away from all the bustle in town – and passing all the traffic going the opposite direction. Because I decided to “be alone” and headed up on the mountain to watch the Solar Eclipse from Greeter Falls.
You’ll see in a minute that I scaled those rocks around the swimming hole and was actually beside and behind the waterfall:
Did you catch that? Feeling lonesome, yet making the choice to go somewhere isolated for what was otherwise quite a social event for most? Right.
Greeter Falls is a great little hike and while it’s in the middle of nowhere, it’s usually a very popular swimming hole for locals and travelers alike.
This day, it was pretty quiet. I know the place well, and knew it offered some great steps and extreme inclines/declines where I could get in a solid workout (too).
Getting down to the bottom of Greeter Falls would require scaling some serious bluffs, or hiking way downriver and back up, but they put in this awesome (if not super tight, slippery, and a little scary!) spiral staircase on the side of the bluff just above the climb down to the falls:
That staircase always makes me dizzy! 🙂 lol
There were a couple of people already at the waterfall. One family and two young men, so I sat and watched for a bit since I got there early…
If you can’t see the video below, click here to view it.
By 11:30am everyone had packed up and left, and as I was waiting for the Solar Eclipse to begin right around noon my time, it was eerily quiet “down in the hole.”
I sat on a big warm rock and soaked it all in: the view, the beauty of nature, my feelings, the warmth of the sun on my arms, the cool rock under my bare feet, all of it.
I just sat there and FELT.
I had a good 10 or 15 minutes alone with nature, and all my thoughts, before I heard people coming down the trail.
It was also getting close to time for the grand show to start, so I made my way around the rocks that frame the swimming hole – to the waterfall itself.
You can see the video of that beautiful view here. 🙂
It was an amazing spot, and provided a fabulous view of the sky – with a nice cool mist from the waterfall. 🙂
A couple showed up and sat on a rock on the opposite side of the gorge. A family with two small children came down the trail next, and two young men hiked down then swam over under the falls.
The moon was just beginning to “touch” the sun at that point, and it was such an amazing sight from such a beautiful place!
The young men got out, and asked me what I could see so far – so I shared my Eclipse glasses with them so they could take a look. I noticed one had a waterproof action cam (like the one I had last year) so we had a chat about that as well.
They ended up agreeing I had the “best seat in the house” 🙂 and we all found a good rock to sit on for the sky show. It lasted a total of three hours, from start to finish, with the chilling dark of the eclipse totality lasting almost 2 full minutes.
We swapped glasses, swapped spots for different views and shots, swapped stories even while the moon made it’s way across the sun on that beautiful afternoon.
Photography is not my thing, and I wasn’t equipped to get a pro shot of the event, but I did manage to capture this photo with my cell phone just before the actual totality:
Afterward the sun was bright again, the temperature came back up, and the sky was “back to normal” – or seemingly at least, as the moon continued it’s journey for another 90 minutes.
I sat there under the waterfall for the entire 3 hour show, contemplating the wonders of the universe and enjoying every moment of the eclipse experience – and enjoying nature, and it’s response to this amazing event.
Three hours and a solar eclipse later, the two young hikers seemed more like old friends. 🙂 They had a swim and a few cliff jumps and I hiked around the rock bluff back to my big rock facing the waterfall.
They ultimately joined me back there on the rock, and I gladly shot some photos & videos of their jumps from the cliffs as we traded more “adventure stories” of our favorite hikes and waterfalls around the state.
They hiked out then, and I took off in a different direction – to hike a “Trail Closed” area. 🙂 It was a trail I’d never noticed before, and it was FULL of fun & interesting things to see, including rock tunnels with tight squeezes, and narrow trails along bluffs that seemed to touch the sky.
And spiders – there were a lot of spiders & webs in those rock crevices 😛 lol. Yuck!
I hiked on for a bit, played and explored, then hiked up and out. I worked up a great sweat from the steps and hills leading out of the gorge and back up to the main trail… where I ran into several cool people.
Everyone was in a particularly friendly mood it seemed, happy and chatty. So I had great conversations with the people I met along the trail hiking out. That had me smiling. 🙂
I enjoyed my brief moments alone too, exploring and playing off trail, the few stretches of quiet trail, and that 10-15 minutes of solitude before the eclipse.
They were all great opportunities to think through the things that have been bothering me lately, with nature reminding me how small those thoughts and feelings really are in the grand scheme of things in this big crazy beautiful universe.
Sometimes we need quiet time to sort out our thoughts. Or I do at least. And sometimes we need social time, to be reminded just how fun & friendly we are.:)
I hit the end of the trail sweaty, refreshed, with my heart pumping and a big smile on my face! I got in some great exercise, but I also had a few fun stops and great conversations along the way with other post-eclipse hikers heading down to the falls – looking for something else to enjoy that day.
I think you know where I’m going with this…
Going to the most secluded spot I could think of (actually, it was the second most secluded spot – my first pick, I *knew* would be entirely secluded)… is like “feeding the void.”
It’s not much different than stress eating or emotional eating. It seems to be human nature to “feed the monster” – whatever that monster happens to be.
You do realize the monster is imaginary, right? I mean, has there ever been a monster under your bed, or a monster in your closet? No. 😛 lol.
The scariest thing we ever really have to deal with… is the irrational thoughts in our own minds. And worse: the way we respond to them, which allows them to grow.
Eating cake has never fixed anything for anyone that I know of. It certainly never fixed a problem or helped in a situation I’ve had. Eating only ever made me feel worse – never better.
Having overcome my emotional eating issues, and now working through what to do with those emotions without food, has been an interesting process.
I found myself working backward on that lately, instead of doing what I know works. I know the solutions, yet I allowed myself to fall back into the void and let the emotions take over. Emotions, which have absolutely no truth and no bearing on my real life – yet can suck you in like quicksand.
The positive: I recognize that much more quickly now.
That’s why I decided to get out and move, to exercise, to get out & about. Tentatively and quietly at first, feeling unsure, but it was a start.
Often that’s all it takes: you need to take that first step. YOU have to make the first step. Otherwise you’ll stay stuck exactly where you are.
And if where you are sucks, it makes no sense to stay there for long.;)
I had a fun adventure, and a lot of very friendly social interactions with neat and interesting people throughout the day. It was exactly what I needed. 🙂
What am I doing next? I’ll tell you in a second… but first, here’s what I ate on Monday along with my MyFitnessPal diary.
My Low Carb Meals on Monday:
On my way out of town I stopped at McDonald’s and grabbed sausage & eggs to eat on the go, which was quick & easy.
Their sausage patties are 1 carb each, and 1 carb for 2 eggs.
On my hike: string cheese, beef sticks and Pizootz premium artisan peanuts (Bay Spice flavor). Those were delicious! 🙂 All foods I got in recent Keto Krate boxes, and perfect for my hike.
I had eaten breakfast late, around 10am maybe, and snacked on those foods above later in the afternoon around 3pm – then finished them when I got home that evening.
So I didn’t eat much that day, but didn’t really have much of an appetite either – and felt satisfied enough. I was in bed by 7pm anyway, lol.
I didn’t hit my 10,000 step goal for the day but I got in some great exercise with the climbing and inclines at least. 🙂
The 44 floors represents 440 feet of elevation climbed – but “up” only. It doesn’t count climbing down.
Things get tough sometimes. Discouragement gets the best of us some days. I’ve been going through that a lot lately myself. Not just with my weight (which seems stuck, lol) but other things in life too.
Just remember: feelings are fickle, and phases pass.
Keep doing what you know is right!
As for me, I’ve been taking deliberate action toward getting myself out of my funk. I’ve booked a few upcoming concerts, plus an event where I’ll get to catch up with great friends, and I’ve been reaching out and connecting with friends more lately as well.
That plus getting back to my hikes & workouts, and the things I enjoy and LOVE in life, are the key. Because when you’re in a funk, it’s a natural tendency to “feed the funk” and allow it to suck you in and hold you there.
If you don’t like where you are, don’t wait around for life to change. It won’t. It’s waiting for YOU to change. We have to make the first move. That’s just the way things work.
So step out! Anytime life seems to be stagnant, or sucking you down, or you just aren’t where you want to be… figure out the next best step toward where you DO want to be, and take that step.
I’m getting proactive about it, and getting back to the life I love. Because I refuse to let a little “phase” pull me under and keep me there. 😛
How are things going with you?
I would LOVE to hear how things are going on your end.
I hope my story proved helpful to you, or that it will the next time things aren’t all “unicorns & fairies” in your own life. Or that you at least enjoyed the photos from my fun hike. 🙂
Leave a comment & let’s chat.;)
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