What goes down must come up.

When you hike the Grand Canyon, you go down to climb back up. This is different from most hikes I’ve been on, where you climb up and then get your “break” as you finish going back down.

On your way down the Canyon, it all seemed so easy. I made note that people traveling down with us were chatty, smiling and feeling excited to be there. As we passed those who were on the trek back up, I made note that the tone changed; less talking, more sweating, solitary faces and a lot of huffing and puffing.

Like usual, I realize so many things about life while I’m active, surrounded by nature and left with nothing but the sound of my inner thoughts.

During the hike, I made a careful observation of life that what goes down must come up.

What Goes Down Must Come Up

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You see, in life, we always think that when we’re on a downward spiral, life is at its worst and is uncontrollable. Down equals the deepest and darkest; a difficult time.

That is accurate.

But I’d argue now that climbing back up is even more difficult.

The real challenge in life is not how far you’ve fallen or the hurt and pain (physical and emotional) you acquire once you’ve taken that fall.

No, the real challenge is getting back up, climbing and overcoming. Each step might bring blood, sweat, and tears, but without taking them you’ll never get out of your internal Grand Canyon.

That day at the Grand Canyon, I didn’t measure my success on falling 1,000+ feet. I measured it by climbing those same 1,000+ feet.

Currently, in both my personal and professional life, I’m working my way back up and remembering always that what goes down, must come up.

p.s. About 5 years after I wrote this post…..Sourest Lemon.


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  1. Let’s just hope that this law doesn’t account for what we eat :). You are absolutely right. Each step does bring a little pain, blood and sweat. It brings rejuvenation too. Thank you for the inspiring words!

  2. I have always loved canyon hiking much more than mountain hiking. Maybe it is the added challenge of the hardest part being at the end of a long day. I love how you draw the comparison to climbing out of the difficult places in our lives.

    Recently I have been very inspired by a wounded warrior with an amazingly positive outlook despite becoming a quadruple amputee. His name is Travis Mills. He has a support page on Facebook and lots of coverage in the media. When I feel overwhelmed by my life’s challenges I check on his progress and it lifts my mood. As much as it annoyed me growing up, my mom would always say “It could always be worse”. She was right, of course, because Moms usually are right. Finding those people who have it worse, but somehow manage to overcome has helped me so many times in life.

    I also love Gretchen Rubin. Her Happiness Project, is intriguing to me and a concept that I am trying to embrace.

    When you climb a mountain, the goal is the summit and it is all downhill from there. When you hike a canyon, the goal is the rim and you are back on level ground. Wishing you a steady climb to the rim!

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