I almost missed out on an amazing day because of fear. My son, Ryan, asked if I would like to go ruckin’ with him.
The sound of the word set me on edge. “What is it?” I said.
He grunted, and picked up his huge army backpack. He held it toward me, “Grab this.”
I reached out, and when Ryan let go, my arms dropped involuntarily as the weight of the pack took over.
He chuckled at me. “You strap that on, and go for a hike. It’s a great calorie burn.”
“I don’t know.” An image of a scowling drill sergeant jumped in my mind. I could see him screaming in my ear while I fought to get air in my lungs. His wide-brimmed hat almost touching me, as he pushed me to push my body. I could see myself attempt to run under the weight of the heavy ruck sack, and then stumbling to my knees.
I looked at Ryan, “I don’t think I can do it,” I confessed.
“It’s up to you, but I think you’d like it if you try,” he prodded.
Tired of winter, and battling cabin fever, Ryan’s encouragement, along with the thought of getting out into the fresh air, helped me override my fears.
We arrived at the Ozark Trail head, and strapped on our packs, (Mine weighed about forty pounds less than his, and balanced over my back, didn’t feel that heavy.) Ryan’s pace was brisk, but not too fast. I could tell he was restraining himself a little for me, and I appreciated his respect. We chatted in breathy sentences, skimming a bit of sweat off our foreheads from time to time.
We hiked hills, hollers, and ridge lines in the woods near our home. Some would call the steep inclines, and rocky crags, Missouri mountains. But whatever they are, the 3.6 miles we covered made my heart pump, my lungs draw air into a deeper place, and my lips hunger for extra water. These were good things.
Periodically, Ryan would turn back and ask, “Are you doing okay?” I think he was surprised his old mama was keeping up.
But more beautiful than snowy banks, rising along trickling creeks, or mossy rocks, sprinkled at the base of towering trees, was the sweetness of my son’s conversation. The whisper of the wind, added to the peaceful atmosphere as we talked about life, love, work, and the house he’s buying.
Walking behind him, and listening to his wise words, I was impressed with who he is as a man. And yet, in this very private place walking in the Missouri woods, I could enjoy him as my boy again.
Ruck packing with my son didn’t sound very appealing at first. My fear of something unknown, and my false assumptions of what it was, almost made me miss out. But instead, a touch of courage, filtered through his encouragement, made it possible for me to spend one of the most amazing days I’ve ever had with Ryan.
Today, I plan to ask if he’ll go ruckin’ with me. (As a bonus, the calorie burn was phenomenal.)
Have you ever done something you were afraid of, and afterwards realized it was a special experience you were glad you didn’t miss?
Anita Fresh Faith
Psalm 27:3 (NIV)
Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business and Inspirational Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Productivity Expert, Certified Training Facilitator, Communications Specialist, national speaker, and author of, First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market.
She’s a partner in The Zenith Zone, a business coaching firm. Member of the Christian Writer’s Guild, Toastmasters, a client of WordServe Literary Group, graduate of CLASSeminars for Leaders, Speakers, and Authors, a co-founder of The StoryWriting Studio, and speaker on circuit for Stonecroft International Ministries.
Anita’s passionate about business with integrity, healthy relationships, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences and research. She believes it’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith. Anita lives in Missouri with her husband Ricky.