The very second we reached the top of the stairs on the train platform, and I scanned the horizon, my heart sang.
We’d arrived in Leogang, Austria. After two weeks in big cities, and years of time since we’d been in the European mountains, every molecule of my being felt right. There were mountains in front of me, behind me, and in every direction. The peace of a small town rose up from the valley below, filling every bit of space. The only sounds were of birds chirping and water trickling.
This space is one of the most amazing for my being.
It’s important that we all find the space that fills us with calm, gratitude, and love. A small town in the middle of the mountains is one of those spaces for me. The only thing that tops it is the feeling on top of the mountain. But, we’ll get to that.
We leisurely made the trek down a hill through lush forest beside a stream and into the heart of the town. With every step, my heart fell in love all over again. The feel of a small, European mountain village is like no other. It consumed me with every breath I took in synch with that of the forest and the surrounding mountains.
We spent a week nestled in this cozy town. We climbed by foot every day up to peaks and across ridges. On our first day of hiking, I was thrilled with how well my mind and my body responded. The second day I was a bit challenged as it went on longer than planned, but it was a good exercise in tapping into the positive space I am trying to train my mind to be in, no matter what. The third day, I felt a natural flow. The fourth day, we did a time trial up the same mountain we climbed on the first day of hiking, and I was surprised to shave off a good 20 minutes. That bionic Julie came out for a bit. On the fifth day, I felt the accumulation and had to accept a recovery day. We did the right things. We did a shorter, slower trek with a couple steep climbs to stretch the legs. We took some rest time. On the last day of hiking, we did a lovely climb straight up on the other side from where we’d been exploring. We found a really nice pace and both eased into a nautral flow. That good ‘ole physical, mental, spiritual flow came back, reminding me of my first ascents up mountains on a bike.
I was sad to leave Leogang, but I felt ready. We’d done all the major hikes. We’d been to several wonderful mountain huts for beer and lunch with a view. We’d both reconnected with our inner mountain beings, and I’d found a flow for writing about my journey that I hadn’t tapped into for a while.
Did I have moments of doubt? Of course. Did my mind slip into a negative space? Absolutely. But not for long. I’m human. I’ll never be perfect, not that I know what that means anyway. But, I’ve continued to build my toolbox of strategies and am capable of identifying when I am going to a place I don’t want to be in and correcting it.
We are all working on things. No matter what it is, persistence and practice does pay off.
No matter what it is…Yes. You. CAN.