Lately in school my daughter has been super hard on herself and oddly giving up on tasks that may seem too difficult. I’m not sure if it is because 6th grade is a whole new adventure to master from 7 different period changes including a social skills elective, to her friends and activities…maybe she’s just ran out of steam.
I recognize how tough adjusting to middle school has been for her so I started wrecking my brain over what would be a great conversation starter. And since I have been getting more active with daily workouts, I figured Nevaeh and I should take a hike. I wanted to see what hills we could climb both literally and figuratively because for one thing, “Mama ain’t raising no fool,” but most importantly, we are a family that doesn’t quit.
So we took to Elysian Valley Trail in Echo Park on the border of Silverlake. The trail is a 2.5 to 3 mile loop with slight elevation gain. What I was happy about were the surprise peaks available for climbing if you want to take the road less traveled. Which, I do. Always.
As we started our trail, Nevaeh and I came across a peak that looked a little challenging. And I said “you know what Nevaeh? I bet you can tackle this peak.” She looks nervous for a little bit and she said, “OK. I’ll do it. But mommy can you come with me?!” You bet I can, kiddo. So we jog up the peak and we are both breathing hard at the top. She’s smiling so hard and I can see she’s really starting to FEEL it. After a quick high-five, we climb down to get back on the dirt path trail.
After we jog for about ten minutes we came across another peak. This time I encouraged Nevaeh to take it down, solo. The entire time I’m going nuts and cheering her on as she leaps up the hill. Her right foot slipped a little, but she recovered so swiftly it was like nothing happened. (Haha. Take that therapist who said my kid wouldn’t have hand/eye coordination!!)
Proud mama bear moment.
We set back on the path. About a 30 min trek in we see the steepest hill with loose gravel and some jagged rocks jolting out of the earth. And somewhere in my crazy mind I say yes. This is the one! Nevaeh and I locked eyes and knew we had to try. And up we went.
Our footing is pretty decent and we make good progress. We are use our upper arm strength to help pull us up the steeper the hill got. Nevaeh and I get to the midway part and her feet start to slip and mine start to give way too. She yells “mommy, I can’t do this! I want to go back”. And I yell right back “No! No going back. No quitting. You can do this!” Fear is written all over her little face as I give her a nudge to move forward. She yells, “mom, please?! I can’t”. And I say “YOU CAN! Now let’s go! Scream if you have to but move now before we both fall!” Nevaeh lets out a warrior cry, digs deep and starts to scramble up the hill. She’s moving and I’m moving right behind her telling her she’s almost there, almost…don’t give up keep moving! And finally we get to the top of the peak and almost throw ourselves onto the landing. Whew. That was tough.
We get up. Get ourselves together and I say “how does it feel to not give up?” She yells “man! It feels GOOOOODDDDD”. And after that there was literally no stopping her, she ran the rest of the course like a machine!
And as she runs, I start to tear up because I know she’s got this. To be honest, I’m starting to tear up now as I write this…ahhhhh. What a joy it is to be a mother.
Next up will be Strawberry Peak! I have heard that one is a realllll challenge! Keep us lifted.