Ask and Receive Help (Grand Canyon part 3)

Training to hike the Grand Canyon from one rim to the other in a days’ time is a process. It takes a lot of dedicated time, perseverance, sacrifice and patience. Gradually you feel yourself getting stronger and you develop the confidence that you need to take on this physical adventure. You feel like you’ve got this. The Brave Superwoman in you takes charge! You walk into the canyon fearless.

As much as the training prepares you – you can still have difficulty on the trail. You can run out of fuel, you can get dehydrated, you can get blisters (ouch). Yes, unexpected things happen on the trail and sometimes you need help to get through it. That’s when the fearless you becomes the stubborn you.

As we all got together on the South Rim before the start of our journey our leader, Robyn Benincasa, told us that at times the guides (trail angels)

would determine that someone needed to reserve
their strength for later and a guide may come up to you and say “give me your pack” or tell you they were going to put you on a tow rope for a while. If that happened we were expected to do what they told us to do without argument. She was pretty clear about that.

The goal of hiking the canyon was for all of us to get to the other rim together. All of us. So, if you were strong and someone else was struggling you were expected to help them. That might mean talking them through it or sharing some food or carrying their load for a while. It also meant that if you felt like you were bonking (technical term for I think I might just lay down and dissolve into the dirt right now) you needed to let someone know and ask for help.

I’m not one to ask for help, I’m proud – oftentimes to a fault. I want to do things on my own. But, when I do ask for help I have found that I learn from others and I get better than if my stubborn self continues to beat my head against the wall. I bet there are times when you have found yourself reluctant to ask for help too. We all do it.

Jack, one our trail angels is strong. He has done this a few times and at one point he had 4 people’s packs on his back (plus his own) and he had someone on a tow rope.

Consider this: If Jack had not helped these people who needed to reserve some energy for later, they would have run out of steam and the goal of everyone finishing together would not have been achieved. I imagine that it would have taken us a lot longer to finish and there would have been a lot more pain involved. The goal would have not been met and some of us would not have finished in good condition.

We can get really hung up on allowing others to help us. We think if we start a business that we should know everything about it, our pride suffers and sometimes we are just plain dang stubborn. So we resist asking for help from others. We resist letting others know we are in trouble or bonking. We resist the help when they offer it.

But if we resist help we become weaker than we have to. We may still finish the Canyon, but we won’t enjoy it as much, we will not be as strong at the finish as we could be and we will have missed valuable lessons along the journey.

Key point… asking for help does not equal failure. It does equal opportunity. I learned that asking for and receiving help is the bravest thing I can do. It’s how I learn and grow. It will get me to the finish faster and stronger.

Bonus Lesson!!!
I found myself at a point where I was really, really cranky. I was tired and my attitude was starting to go South. Another trail angel, Puddin’ (he likes to eat pudding, thus the trail nickname) must
have sensed this, because just when I needed some encouragement – he was there.

I was out of breath and couldn’t talk, but he kept encouraging me, he would say things like “look at you go popcorn” (my trail nickname that he gave me. I may legally change my name now…) “you got this popcorn” and he would tell jokes to get my mind off of my misery. Puddin’ got me through a rough patch. I am grateful to him for that and I learned my next lesson.

Sometimes you can offer encouragement right when someone who is going through a rough patch needs it. Puddin (his real name is Addy) had been through this journey before and he knew we would make it. His encouragement gave me the confidence I needed to keep going mentally.

So look around you for people whom you can encourage – especially if you’ve been through the journey.

I learned that one of the best gifts I have to give is encouragement. Everyone needs encouragement now and then, especially when they are cranky!

You go Girl

PS. If you think yourself a brave girl who would love to take on a physical challenge and help other women who have suffered from medical setbacks to go on the adventure with you – then check out An amazing group of people! I am forever grateful to them for the experience.

PPS. Way Beyond Ordinary is here to help you capture and remember the magic. That’s the magic in it for us!

PPPS. Oh, and at Way Beyond Ordinary we exist to create the environment where you can ask for help and get encouragement from other women who have been where you are. We are all about creating brave, fearless superwomen! Check us out and join our Go Beyond coaching group.