The other day, I headed out to go for a run. I wasn't quite sure where I was headed, but thought I would most likely do one of my usual loops. As I headed up the road toward my turn-off, I made a last-minute decision to keep going up the mountain.
This wasn't the first time I'd ventured up this mountain. I'd run it once before and had taken my kids on a hike up it this past summer. I knew my way, and better yet, I knew the breathtaking view I would see once I reached the top. As I headed up the trail, I encountered some rocky areas where I stumbled a bit, and there were some steep areas that forced me to slow down and walk. However, knowing what it was like at the top of that mountain, I continued on.
Once at the top, a feeling of triumph came over me. I had made it. I was immediately met with the breathtaking view of Utah Lake on one side and my hometown on the other. Not only that, but at the top of the mountain, I could see more clearly where I had been and where I needed to go to make it back home. Just ahead about 50 meters, I could see the turn-off that I needed to take for an easier path down the mountain.
As I ran along the ridge-line down the mountain toward the turn-off, I saw a black crow that was sitting in a tree, who then started to gawk at me. My focus then shifted to the crow, and I got distracted. Before I knew it, I had missed my turn-off and was quite a ways down the ridge-line before I realized it. I was faced with the choice of going back up a steep climb toward the turn-off or making my way down a rocky decline that eventually met back with the path. I chose the rocky decline, which ended up being a more difficult way.
And as I maneuvered my way down, my shoes began to fill with rocks, I was getting stickers on my socks and the progress down was very slow. To top it all off, that pesky crow was still circling above my head making loud noises.
But, instead of allowing the bird to distract me, I kept my focus on the path, and soon I was back where I needed to be. Although the trail was not without its rough patches, I was able to make it back home safely.
As I thought about this run, I found that it paralleled life.
Oftentimes, we get stuck doing the same old routine, taking the path we are accustomed to. However, when we decide to take the high road — which is often difficult — and rise above the challenge, the reward is great. When we have risen above those challenges, we are able to see more clearly the path we need to take.
And much like that pesky crow, sometimes we get distracted, lose our path and often end up taking the hard way back. However, if we focus on the task at hand, we can eventually find the path that leads to where we need to go.
I learned a lot on this particular run. From now on, I will look for more opportunities to do hard things, to take the high road and ignore unnecessary distractions. Hopefully in doing so, I will always be able to make it to where I need to be.
Arianne Brown is a mother of six who loves running the beautiful trails around Utah. For more articles by Arianne, "like" her Facebook page (facebook.com/writerariannebrown) or visit her blog, timetofititin.com.