Lesson’s From The Grand Canyon (part 1): Be Brave.

Recently I had the incredible opportunity to hike the Grand Canyon.  The journey started on the South Rim of the Canyon at 2:30 AM.  Yes, you read that right: AM, dark-thirty!  I’m pretty sure the crickets weren’t even up yet.

We would spend the next 15 hours trekking down the South wall, across the canyon floor and up the North Wall.  24 miles of walking and 11 of those were uphill.  Oh, and the pack on your back had a full 3 liters of water and assorted other things adding about 12 pounds to your body weight.  Not exactly a walk in the park… pardon the pun.

It is impossible to do something of that magnitude and not be changed by it, not learn from it.  My learning started the day I said “yes” to the Grand Canyon.  Saying yes took a big dose of brave for me.  I don’t consider myself an athlete, on a scale of 1 – 10 of athletic ability I would give myself a 2, maybe a 3.  I’m terribly afraid of heights. Ladders freak me out!  Plus, I hate the heat.  I would pick winter time in Canada over summertime in Florida any day.

So, why would a heat hating, height fearing, girl who loves to shop, not exercise, take on the Grand Canyon?  A place known for brutally hot temperatures, narrow paths high above canyon walls and (did I mention this before?) 11 miles of uphill trekking?

I must have had a brave seizure, that’s the only thing that explains it. I’m pretty sure it was a Grand Mal Brave seizure too.  In that moment I could see myself become the type of person who could traverse one of the 7 wonders of the natural world.  I became an athlete that day when my brave came out.  I learned how brave I was the day I said “yes” to the Grand Canyon.

To me being brave is a decision.  A decision to move beyond what you can see right now or think you can do today and relying on the fact that you can change or grow and be that which you choose tomorrow.  Sounds a lot like faith in one’s self.

Deep inside, I knew I could do it, I wanted to do it.  I believed I could, but there was no physical evidence of that yet.  I had to do the work, trust the process and watch the new athletic me unfold.  I am changed in so many ways because I said “yes”.

The first lesson for me was to latch onto that brave girl that told me I could do it.  When that brave seizure takes hold of you – listen and embrace it.  Make the decision to see and be what you can become and do.

So what is it that you need to be brave about?  What are you not saying yes to that would move you to a totally new place?

Be Brave.  Every time you stand in bravery you will be changed forever. Make a decision to believe in yourself, in your future, in your ability.

Now, that’s a brave girl!


But that is not all the Grand Canyon taught me – stay tuned for part II – Remember the magic.

You go girl!!


  1. 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 www.projectathena.org. An amazing group of people!  I am forever grateful to them for the experience.