“Courage to Overcome”

Courage to overcome life’s obstacles is essential, however, what motivators are used to begin and sustain the courage to overcome?


Awakening from what I hope was a nightmare is all I could imagine. My eyes were closed as my right hand felt the soft fur of something breathing.

The breath reminded me of my ex-husband who is the reason and caused for this hike. However, the soft fur felt unusual almost like Misty, my black Labrador. I last remembered taking a late afternoon nap after I walked seven miles into the White Mountain National Forest in New Hamshire in preparations for my through-hike of the Appalachian Trail next spring-

My cognitive perception assessed I was outside on top of a bed of leaves I made for myself, but the fear in my mind kept me from opening my eyes in the belief I would find my ex-husband standing over me or worst some animal.

During these moments of thought, I realized how much I needed to take this hike to wash away thirty years of marriage. So when I open my eyes to see the brown bear cub sniffing my hand still clutching my uneaten granola bar, I did not panic.

When the bear-cub recognized my eyes were open, he stop sniffing and slowly walked away taking the granola bar with him.

I then realized if I could suffer through a horrible marriage, and hike seven miles uphill to have a bear cub sniff my hand and take my snack.

I knew then I would complete my 2200 mile through hike of the Appalachian trail.

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