I was careful to make sure my leg cleared the barbed wire as I climbed over the fence. The snow was blowing sideways and after two days of sunshine, the winter storm had settled in. I had headed west with my friends Paul and Aaron. Both men were accomplished game hunters and had been to Wyoming several times. We were in Wyoming chasing Pronghorn on public land and I was in a whole new world.
I have hunted all kinds of animals but never in the high-prairie and never pronghorn. Carrying the title of the second fastest land animal these goats can reach speeds of 55 mph, and have eyesight 10 times greater than that of a human. It is an arduous game of cat and mouse when hunting these animals.
We began our trek into the Wyoming wilderness into a thirty mile an hour headwind. The snow was blowing sideways as we traversed the rugged mountainous desert. We had picked out a spot on the map that we felt would be an advantageous vantage point to scope out the grassy valley below, the preferred grazing area of the pronghorn.
Our steps turned into miles as we trekked back into the wild. We finally reached a rocky outcrop and settled in, glad to be out of the wind for a moment. My ears adjusted to the silence as we ducked out of the blasting wind gusts and I felt the hard rock beneath me as I tried to find a comfortable position. Although my pack was only forty pounds the vigorous uphill hike made it feel like double that weight.
As I settled into the hillside my body began to adjust. The heat that I had generated by the climb gave way to the bone chilling cold and after just ten minutes of sitting still.
It’s amazing how in the midst of the climb all I could think about was finding a place to rest, but as soon as I found a resting place, all I could think about was getting my blood moving again.
Life can seem that way. When we are grinding we are looking for the next place to rest, but when we stop, or when life stops us, we are quick to look for the next chance to get back to the grind.
On the mountain today I had a moment of clarity. Even though the wind was howling and the snow was falling, I realized that I needed a moment to rest. My body was screaming from the three mile hike. I needed a moment to collect my thoughts, rest my legs, and catch my breath.
If you’re running 100 mph in life, you need a break. You need to find a place to sit and refocus. There is something inside each of us as men that was wired to grind. There’s no shame in that. The problem is we have convinced ourselves that if we stop we will lose our place in line. If we stop we will lose everything we’ve worked for. That’s a lie.
If you feel like your world is spinning faster than you would like, you need to rest. You have to be intentional. You have to carve out a minute to catch your breath. Maybe it’s an afternoon in the woods, or a day on the lake, but you have to find something.
Grinding is a good thing. It produces results. However, if you haven’t stopped in a while to rest your body, mind, and spirit, you are poised for a disaster.
What can you do this week to find a minute to stop, catch your breath, and rest?
The clarity you need for the next phase of the journey just might be found the moment you stop, let the noise quiet down, and refocus your grind on the things that really matter.
We didn’t pull the trigger today, but after six miles of hiking in the face of the winter storm, I know for certain that I am stronger, I have more clarity, and I am ready for tomorrow’s adventure.