“Cut it out.” I mentally screamed at myself. I was sick of hearing myself complain. “Ha, you act sooo hardcore don’t you? One hailstorm and now you think you get to complain. Shut your soft mouth.” Sometimes the only person that will give you the hard truth is yourself.

The night before had been a long one. A rainstorm had blown in, and it quickly turned into a fierce squall. Wind buffeted us at record speeds, tossing the rain sideways, within twenty minutes, we started getting pelted by dime sized hail. Eventually, the tents flooded… Let’s just say it wasn’t a sleep filled night.

That’s part of the reason I came out here, to find my limits, to find that place where I want nothing more than to quit. And then to burn that place to the ground.

There is a picture I keep on my iPod, it’s the image of a canadite, undergoing the stresses of Hell Week, an infamous 1 week smokefest that marks the beginning of Navy SEAL training. Canadites are put through the ringer, getting less than six hours of sleep for the entire week, while undergoing grueling physical challenges. In the image, the canadite is holding a log over his head, covered in sand, trying desperately to complete one exercise or another. The caption says,”Trust the process.” So simple, yet so true.

Those words lingered in my head, as I stewed on my sleepless night, wanting nothing more than to be home in my bed. Trust the process, let it mold you. Take all that pain, take all that frustration, take all that weakness, and let it wash away. You’re allowed to hate it, you’re just not allowed to quit.

It’s a microcosm for life. Do hard things, and let it show you where you are weak. Let those experiences shape you, let them strengthen you.

So there I sat, looking up the next hill, not wanting to move. “Trust the process. Here we go.” I stood up, and  took another step. And then another, and another. I won’t quit, because I want to know just how far I can go, and then I want to go farther. So I’m going to keep rushing headlong into what might feel uncomfortable, but what I know is forging a better version of me.

So here we go, one foot in front of the other… Happy trails.

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