Facing adversity head on!
How often should we face adversity head on if we want to be successful in life? I don't know the answer, but I have a feeling that how we respond to adversity is a good indicator of how successful we will be in all areas of life. 
Today was especially cold. I didn't want to leave my warm cozy bed as I lay next to my wife, but eventually I did decide to face the day head on. 
My kids and I made breakfast as we chatted about how our day of cross country skiing was going to go. We had been looking forward to this 4-day weekend for several weeks now and we knew exactly how we wanted to spend our time together. Skiing, enjoying the amazing views, and later warm snuggles. 
After breakfast we loaded up our family van with all the gear and sack lunches we would need and drove the 38 minutes up to the Spokane Nordic Ski area on Mount Spokane State Park. We parked the van and opened the doors to grab our gear and head to Selkirk Lodge to wax and get ready. We were greeted with -20-degree wind chill in the parking lot, but none of us would be discouraged from doing what we set out to do. We were hopeful that once we got on the trail and cover of trees that the wind-chill would not be a factor.
In the lodge we geared up to go and were soon on the trails heading to Junction 1. Not only was it cold, but it was wet and windy too. The wind cut through our Smart Wool and the snow whipped into our faces as we began our back country acsent to Junction 2.  Fortunately, we had prepared for the inclement weather, but even still we were faced with a decision to either move forward or turn back. 
The weather never let up on us, by the time we were at the second Junction my wife's gear was drenched on the outside from the snow melt. She wanted to be a trooper and press on, but every muscle in her body was telling her to turn back. The seams in my gloves were allowing too much wind in and were not adequate for the weather. I did a self-check and realized my hands were warm for the moment and I still had good feeling in my fingers because of all the energy that we were exerting so we pressed on to our goal of reaching the Nova Hut. 
The evergreen trees were heavy laden with fresh snow which made for a beautiful and quiet day on the mountain. Our goal was only 2 kilometers away at this point, but the trail was steep and would require significant effort on all of our parts to move uphill towards Junction 3 and get shelter at the hut. 
My daughter and son were eager to show us their new skill set they learned from their single Nordic ski lesson a few weeks before.  Thankfully, they paid attention and were now employing their "V" shapes with confidence. To be fair, we were not V skate skiing, but we were getting closer to our goal. When the kids fell, they just got right back up and kept climbing. When my wife fell, it took a bit more cheering her on, but eventually she too continued the climb. 
No views greeted us when we made it to Nova Hut. Our welcoming committee was more icy flakes whipping our face and a steep climb without skis to get down a 5-foot snow drift to the hut and bathrooms.  
Despite all the adversity from the weather, from the lack of experience, from our minds telling us we couldn’t do it....we pressed forward and 1 hour and 45 minutes later, we made it. There was a sense of accomplishment as we warmed up and dried out around a fire in the hut and had our sack lunch. We enjoyed each other’s company and grew closer together as a family. Our 2 oz. pouches of Ningxia Red gave us a refreshing bit of energy for the return trip back to Selkirk lodge. We breathed in Young Living peppermint essential oil to help oxygenate our blood so our muscles could do the needed work to get us home and then we began our decent. 
When we made it back home that night, we all enjoyed a far-infrared sauna session and Slique tea.
 The weather never let up on us that day, but we learned we could ski for 12 kilometers as a family. If we had let the wind-chill in the parking lot discourage us, we would have never known the satisfaction of reaching our goal. If we had turned back at Junction 1 because of the wind cutting through our clothes we would not have experienced the joy of accomplishing what we set out to do. 
Life is short, full of adversity and there is always going to be a tempting easy way out. Don't rob yourself the joy of meeting your goals in life by letting adversity dictate your next move. Press forward and be in the moment always. Life is short, live it well.

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