It was the middle of the day and I decided to go for hike. I was thinking of going to my regular hiking spot at Griffith Park, but my inner voice kept saying, “NO! You’ve done Griffith so many times. Let’s try something new! Take a drive on Sunset Blvd to Los Liones Canyon” Listening to that voice, I immediately got dressed, packed my backpack, grabbed my sun glasses, headphones, keys and was out the door. The drive on Sunset Blvd was exhilarating! I had my tunes blasting, my left leg hanging outside my jeep, weaving in and out of traffic… “Couldn’t have been happier!” Beep, beep! Coming through!
Once I reached the trail, I was greeted by a film crew, who stopped production to let me pass by. As I was driving through, I noticed the crew started to groove to the music. I smiled, wished them all success with their project, and proceeded to the entrance of the trail. “Maybe this hike won’t be as bad as I thought! So far, so good!”
Along the trail, I came to a FORKin the road. The choices were to either continue and go around on the trail or go up and over the mountain. I sat at this fork for about 5 mins, contemplating my route. “Should I go left, taking the trail, or go right and climb the mountain?”
From the bottom of the mountain, it didn’t look hard to climb, but it turned out to be steeper than I thought. At one point, I was using my fingers to pull myself up, while trying to find my footing on the loose gravel and jagged edges on the rocks. Yes, real fuckin’ rock climbing! Holy shit! “Don’t look down! Don’t look down! Don’t look down!” LOL! As I reached the top of the mountain, I was OVERJOYED, not because I tried something new (I’ll get to that in min), but because I was alive and had not slipped and fell, rolling down the mountain! WHEW!
As I hopped back on the trail… there was a guy behind me who took the other route, who says, “I saw you take that mountain! GOOD JOB!” I smiled and said, “Thank you!” I continued on up the trail to Eagle Rock, another 4 mile trek, not aware the guy behind me was headed to the same spot. We reached the overlook point, admiring the view and started talking.
While talking, something said, “ask about his son!” Listening to my intuition, I switched the conversation and shared my weight loss story. His eyes lit up! “OMG! That’s incredible! My son was an athlete back in the day! State and Nationals… in 3 different sports! Almost went pro! But now, he’s got a dead-end job and has gained over 300 lbs” I was stunned to hear the news of his son, because I know the feeling of weight gain all too well! I said, “Have you tried to reach out to him or talk to him regarding his health?” ALL THE TIME, he replied! I even wrote him a letter, expressing my concerns for his health. I want him to get back to where he used to be. He was much happier! If he’s not careful, he’s going to get heart disease or have a stroke! I’m fearful for his life. Not to mention, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc!” I agreed! He continues on by saying, since receiving his letter, his son hasn’t talked to him since! It’s been 4 months now! I was heartbroken for him. I offered my advice and he says, “Man, you’re better than Dr. Phil and Oprah! THANK YOU! If my son ever talks to me again, I want him to meet you!” I handed him my business card and replied, “I’d be happy to! Let me know if the advice worked! Keep me posted!”
As we continued back down the trail, the conversation switched to him talking about his job. I was listening, in and out to what he was saying, because at that moment something came over me. I can’t explain it, but for the first time, since my weight loss, I realized that I’ve tried something NEW! I pushed my limits and my fears to get up that mountain, not knowing that I was being watched by a stranger and would later be sharing each other’s stories. But in that moment… I DID IT! It was a gratifying feeling! I could have been Leo on the edge of the Titanic screaming, “I’M KING OF THE WORLD!” LOL! Yes, it was scary as all hell, but in the end, I dug deep, removed all doubt, and kept climbing! I felt so empowered! What started out as an uneventful day, turned out to be a day I will never forget!
The lesson I learned was that FEAR IS A LIAR! It stops us dead in our tracks and keeps us from realizing our full potential. We tell ourselves that we can’t do something because it’s something we’ve never tried before, or that it may be too difficult or too hard to achieve. In the end, remember, Every accomplishment starts with a decision to try! Whatever your obstacle is in life, take a deep breath, visualize the outcome or goal, and keep climbing! Basically, telling FEAR to go take a hike!
The moral of the story: Be kind to people! You never know what they’re going through! And keep pushing yourself to be your BEST self! You just might surprise yourself! The Electric Negro signing off! #feelingELECTRIC!