Flag Rock Trail – Long and Difficult Work

Today’s hike was down in Farmington Utah. Really great views the entire way, lots of elevation gain, and tons of switch backs (TONS). My knees and hips are going to be talking to me over the next few days. The ugly part of this hike, was that my phone stopped recording the hike for a little while, so the distance is not accurate. The hike still shows “Verified Complete” so I’m satisfied, and shouldn’t have to do this hike again (I would like to do it again, but it is a pretty difficult hike, and it’s got a few hard truths tied to it now. The hike was called “Flag Rock via Patsy’s Mine“. My hike shows up similar, but has a glitch in it.

There was a lot of work done on this hike. Both physically, and emotionally. When I was finally back to my car, I was utterly exhausted. I’m very thankful for the tools, and tenacity I’ve gained over the last year or so. I don’t believe I was nearly as resilient a year ago when my journey began. My family has been amazing, the work my therapist does with me, the VA crisis center are a bunch of incredible people (haven’t called them since February knock on wood), the books I’ve drank in (audio of course), and the physical connection with nature through hiking and taking pictures has been so enjoyably therapeutic I can never explain it clear enough. Today, I used all of my tools, spoke as kindly as I could to myself, and structured my thinking in a way that I hope I won’t be in this situation ever again.

While I was at the end of the most difficult part of getting to where I am at, I started to feel that “connection” with myself. I am not sure I have ever had the feelings I started to get in late June to around mid July. It clicked in me that so much is adjustable by simply changing your thinking. I shed a lot of tears today (luckily it was just me, and one other man on the trail. He was going clockwise, and I was going counter clockwise). The sadness I felt wasn’t aimed at anyone, it was simply the sadness of feeling the failure inside myself to not hold to my boundaries. I think this is probably going to be the bulk of my work going forward. Boundaries keep me safe, they hold me accountable to my expectations, and they ultimately protect who ever enters my circle of people. I am always working on “Thoughts are not reality” but I think tied close to that are my boundaries.

Thoughts can lead to anxiety, and forgetting to keep boundaries can lead to people getting hurt. In my case, I let my thoughts grow into a false reality, and that led me into a false sense of security, and I ignored some of my boundaries. It ended up hurting me, and the person I was seeing. I knew the danger, ignored the danger, found myself hurt, and taking a few steps back in my journey to recenter myself. That was yesterday and today. Re-centering myself, getting reintroduced to myself, and learning to enjoy time with me again. I hope, I really hope, that I can refrain from letting anyone new into my life until spring. At the very earliest, after the new year.

The pictures today were a scattering. The hike up was very difficult with a lot of switchbacks, and steep sections that felt like they went for miles.

These are from the early parts of the hike. Not a lot of exciting stuff except for the view. The view just kept getting better and better until my lungs, legs, and arms were so tired I couldn’t glance up to enjoy it.

These were from just before, and right around where the trail really started kicking my ass. It became very rocky, and obviously, horses weren’t permitted (I would like to go over and see the mine, but not today).

Up here the wind was cookin’ pretty hard (and felt amazing because I was a soaking wet sweaty mess). the temps were down in the 40’s though, so I didn’t hang around too long. Sat down, meditated for a few minutes, got myself calm, reached into my thoughts and took them to task as best I could.

These too

Thank you all for taking today’s journey with me. Here’s a quick video I took at the peak. Not anything epic, lots of wind noise, and tired, dry words.

Quick video from Flag Rock Trail (but the video might not work, no big whoop).

When you loose track of where your boundaries are, allow your thoughts to lure you into believing them to be reality, you loose the now, you are no longer present. Practice reviewing what keeps you safe, happy, and fulfilled. I failed myself, but I forgive myself for failing at this portion of my journey. I will heal, grow, learn, and continue being a better person than I was yesterday. ~me

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