Sunday, December 15, 2013

Grief Hill

There is trail in Camp Verde called Grief Hill. It was the first road made for travelers to cross the range from Fort Verde to Fort Whipple, before there was a road up Copper Canyon. It is a rocky, narrow climb with sharp corners . Much different than today's I-17 that now climbs Copper Canyon.

It was originally called Grief Hill by miners who had to unload their wagons and carry their supplies and belongings down the hill because it was so steep, and the turns too sharp that wagons needed to be light as possible. So the settlers and miners would carry their belongings down the mile stretch, then walk back up again to get more of their things and head back down.

Later on, Grief Hill lived up to its name when wars between the Native Americans and the Fort broke out. Grief Hill was the site where many people died on both sides, and there are stories told of what the solders referred to as the Grief Hill Massacre.

Today, Grief Hill is a beautiful hike. From the top, you can see the red rocks of Sedona, the Colorado Platue, and the San Fransisco Peaks; each at a different level of view. It is breathtaking.  And in our Tae Kwon Do Studio, running the hill is part of black belt training. The black belt test is in April for many of our friends who have already started running the hill to prepare for the timed test.

We are not training for our black belts yet. We still have a few years before we are at that level... but I've been dying to see the trail. To see if it compares to anything I ran for MCC; South Mountain, A Mountain, the Superstition Foothills. So, after dropping Lane off at school, the boys and I have been going up here and there to get familiar with the terrain, so we can start looking ahead to black belt testing.

I knew I would love it, and I did. Trail running has always been my favorite. But Race, well he hates running. He is clumsy, and awkward and sometimes shuts down when things get hard. I knew this was a push for him. And it was.

The definition of grief is: deep mental anguish, trouble or difficulty, even annoyance and frustration.

I think Race experiences much grief in a melt down. Which is what happened when he got tired of running.

So we walked. And I gave him one of my fabulous inspirational spiels that went something like this:

"Race, it's ok if you walk. We don't need to run it all today. A little today, a little more the next time.  No we're not going back to the car. We're going to get up this hill. We don't just quit when things get tough. Tough things make us tough. We're supposed to do tough things, that's what makes us better, stronger.  It's what makes us leaders. Yes, Race it hurts. Tough things hurt sometimes. But I promise, when we get to the top, it's not going to hurt anymore, and you're going to see how beautiful it is up there. You can see forever. Yes, clear to Canada I'm sure..."

So he walked with determination. And he walked ahead of me because he was mad at me for making him do it. But he just looked forward and walked. To the top. And he loved it once he got there.

And as I watched him walk ahead, I thought of the long speech I gave, that was more for me than him. It was more for me to say out loud than for him to hear. Because as we've been going through our financial difficulties these last months, I have hated it. I have been tired of it, and wanted to go sit in the car instead of walk up another hill. I didn't want to experience the grief, the challenges, the frustration of not having money needed to pay bills. I wanted to ignore the phone calls instead of face them head on. I didn't want to unload my wagon to get up and down the hill. I wanted to go forward, not take steps backward, not rearrange my plans again!

I was reminded once again that every great man and woman who I consider a hero, didn't wake up one day and was all of a sudden a hero. It was because they were tested. They were thrown in the refiners fire, and they fought.  I was reminded of the early saints and everything they had to go through to become a faithful people. I thought of Joseph Smith and my favorite scripture heroes. I thought of my favorite athletes and historical figures I admire. I thought of my parents.

So that weekend after our hike, the dryer broke, the freezer broke, I got pulled over and was given a very large ticket from a very unmerciful police officer, and then the car broke...

And I am being humbled, I am currently experiencing miracles that are taking care of these obstacles in my path, I am being given opportunities to make the most of things, and I am learning more and more what sacrifice really is. And I really feel my family and I will be stronger, more faithful because of these experiences.

I just can't wait to get to the top so I can look down with pride at my experience.

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