by Teresa Smith on December 15, 2014

DSC08375 225x300 RewardsA couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine told me about a park that is an hour and a half away. The park had wolves, otters, raptors and a planetarium. This place sounded like a great road trip for the day so I headed out in my car with a friend Saturday morning to check it out.  I had briefly looked at the park’s website, but saw there were some interesting animals and a planetarium and I was sold.

The drive wasn’t bad and we grabbed a quick lunch before entering the park. I remember looking at the route and having an idea of where I would be going. As a backup, I used Google Maps on my phone and turned on the navigation as we got closer. Unfortunately the route was totally different than what was in my head. We were sent through winding roads and subdivisions.

As luck would have it… we did find the park, but we tacked on an extra 30 minutes to the drive. We took in a show at the planetarium and then headed out to the wolf enclosure.

Knowing nothing about the park, I thought we would be able to drive to the specific areas. I didn’t realized we would be hiking. Just to let you know up front… I’m not a hiker. I was also walking with a bum leg Saturday. Ever since I sprained both ankles earlier this year, my ankles and knees have not been the same. From the parking area, I could see there were a lot of hills and some of the areas were spaced a bit apart.

My first thought was, I’ve driven all this way and I’m not going to be able to see anything because of my knee. I started blaming myself for not checking out the website better and understanding what the park offered. I was literally ready to just go back to the car and sit there while my friend enjoyed herself. I didn’t want to injure my knee more and I didn’t want to get far away from the car and not be able to get back.

Those were my first thoughts. My second thought was… give it a try and hope for the best, I’ve come all this way.  So off I went, limping a bit. I took it slow and easy and paused a lot. I was so glad I did. My friend and I probably spent an hour or more watching the wolves and a good thirty minutes with the bobcats. I came away taking over 200 photos and couldn’t wait to get home to see how they all turned out

As the sun was going down and we got in the car to leave, I was thankful that I went with my second thought. The rewards for doing so were amazing. As I drove away, I thought about times in my life that were challenging. I thought about how every time I was afraid or felt like I couldn’t do it and wanted to give up or not even start. I thought about how every time when I ignored those fears or thoughts and pushed through, even if I had to do baby steps… the rewards were worth it.

When you feel like you can’t or when others tell you that you can’t, don’t give up. Don’t let go of the dream, thought or idea. It was put there for a reason.  Take small steps if you need to. If you need to stop, take a breath and regroup… do so. Don’t give up, the rewards will pay off.

Blessings throughout the coming week,

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