When I started rewiring my limbic system, my biggest goal was to climb up and down the hill that leads to my neighborhood. I love my neighborhood. It’s small and one that a lot of people don’t even know exists. It’s a neighborhood that stands alone. You need a reason to visit to discover it.
It sits on a hill overlooking the downtown skyline on one side and the river valley with tree tops and roof tops leading to the mountains on the other. This beauty of nature and the vibrancy of the city mirrors and fuels my spirit. The hilltop and its dichotomy was always a comfort to me and allowed me to see daily why I love living here.
I trained from walking around the block, adding in multiple blocks till I had all four under my belt. There’s a staircase that intersects the hill. I progressed to adding in stairs starting with the same number as the flight of stairs in my home and adding till I mastered all 74, 99 counting the landings. I love the stairs and how they change with the seasons. I made an exercise of it; making each stair an intentional glute/hip exercise, getting stronger with each visit. I then started going down the stairs and walking up and down the hill an equal number of steps on either side of the staircase. The day I did a flight of stairs and walked down the hill and back up to the top is a day that I will always
treasure. The Toronto Raptors had won a semi-final against the Philadelphia 76’s the night before on a four bounce buzzer beater. When I got to the top, I felt just like I imagine Khawai Leonard felt sinking that shot.
I felt the endorphins flowing through my body on that beautiful May morning as I raised my arms up in the air just like he had. After the hill was fait accompli, I set my heights higher. A mountain would be next.
I did a gazillion visualizations of climbing to Larch Valley in the Canadian Rockies to see the golden larch trees in the fall. It’s a popular hike in this area. I thought I’d researched it thoroughly, but it was nothing like I had imagined it would be. By chance, we met two couples my husband knew and hiked with them. As we moved onto the trail, it was mentioned that this was the first of twenty-one switchbacks. I had no idea but didn’t bat an eye and started to climb. The trail was rocky with lots of tree roots and I loved every minute of it. I soaked in the sights, smells, sounds of the forest as I climbed looking for my next step upwards. I felt gloriously present climbing to the top.
I felt like I was on top of the world when I reached the top. I raised my arms into the air taking in the beauty of the larches, the power of the mountains, the expansiveness of the sky and the radiance of the sun just like I’d done so many times in my visualizations.
A dream come true.
We’ve already booked a cabin to do it again next fall. My new goal is to add Sentinel Pass to next year’s hike. I still climb the hill in every direction and the stairs just because I love them. They never lose their appeal.
Keep putting one foot in front of the other. You never know where this journey will lead you!
"By RYW Guest Writer & Retrainer - Cathy McCartney"
From Ashley Laure, Founder RYW
I want to thank Cathy for reaching out to me and bravely asking me to post this blog for her. It takes a lot of creativity and courage to share our experience and use this experience to inspire others. All of you know the work we do to dig our minds and bodies out of old condition.. Always always always be proud of yourself, each and every day, this path is not for the faint of heart and you all are truly warriors. Thank you Cathy for outlining what it takes to make your dreams come true.
RYW has Guest Writer Sessions every 4 months. Our next session will begin in April 2022. If writing is something you wish to try, if their are experiences you wish to share, please contact me to let me know you are interested firstname.lastname@example.org.