Trek and where it all started.

Trek and where it all started.

This whole thing is really new to me. I want this blog and the entire Tenmore idea to be a place to share stories of our best experiences in life and times we have had to keep pushing forward. As a 20-year-old college kid, I probably don't have the best advice or wisdom to give, but I do have a good number of fun stories to share. So here's one to start.

In the summer of 2019, I had an amazing opportunity to summit a 14,000-foot peak in Colorado. My youth group took a trip every other summer called "Trek," and this was the first year I could go. I had heard all of these stories about how amazing it was from past groups who had gone. I was very excited to get on that 20-hour bus ride to Salida. I was very fortunate as a kid to be able to experience a lot of cool places all over the country: Yosemite, Banff, Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, and the Smoky Mountains, just to name a few. My parents decided they would spend their money on experiences instead of a new car or a bunch of Christmas presents for us. I never really understood that at the time, but I do now and I am very lucky because of it.

The mountain that my group got put on was Mount Antero, a 14,276-foot peak in the Sawatch range. It wasn't supposed to be too hard but a 14'er is a 14'er. I was chosen as a "group leader" on the trip. Being a group leader meant I got to choose who carried what. So obviously, I gave my sister the pots and pans. (Sorry, Caley) I was super fortunate to have my Dad and sister Caley be on this trip with me; it's something I'll never forget. Also, one of my best friends, Brandon, was there as well. More on that later.

Not much happened on Day 1, just an easy, boring 3-mile hike to camp 1. Day 2 is where things picked up. It was a long day of hiking, so obviously, we were doing riddles for almost 6 hours straight. I still will never know why the guy ordered an albatross sandwich. But this day was special because it is where the idea "tenmore" was born. Some people did not enjoy hiking very much, and it showed. There was some complaining, and people were moving slow, but our guides tried to keep the spirit up. Every time someone would ask how much longer, the response was always "Oh, just ten more." That bugged everybody to death because ten more literally gave you no clues on where you actually were. I loved it though because it gave you something to laugh about, but also it sparked a thought in my head. It really didn't matter how much longer we had or what time it was. What mattered was being with my family and my best friends, enjoying God's creation. When you don't focus on the thing that is hard, and instead, you focus on the amazing things around you, it makes things way easier.

I have been typing for a while now, so I'll try to be quick. The next day we had a solo time for a couple of hours that deserves a whole post by itself. I have never sat quietly by myself like that for hours and it was really special. It's the first time in my life I had "alone" time with God. We went to bed early that night for a 3 am wakeup to summit. We were lucky to be able to summit on July 4th, so obviously, we did it in style. People had on jeans, the American flag, and we even had glow sticks just to add to the patriotic style. Summiting was nothing short of magical. You felt on top of the world. Everyone was SO happy. The hike was tough, so it was honestly a relief to be at the top. My friend Brandon and others had some tears coming from their eyes, I think. I convinced Brandon to come with me, and I still think about it a lot. He didn't know anybody but me and almost backed out a week before. But he pushed through, and honestly, seeing him so happy in that moment is something I will never forget. The best part of the whole trip was the prayer we got to say at the top, just thanking our amazing God for the opportunity.

The hike down sucked, but then it was over, haha. So many highs and a whole lot of lows. But Trek lit a fire inside me. Not only for my relationship with God, but my love for the outdoors. I was hooked, and that was an understatement. It's what gave me the idea to live in Wyoming and climb even more mountains. It's an experience I'll never forget.

Trek made me realize that living in Alabama is not cool. (I love Huntsville; so it's kind of a joke) But really it showed me that there is an entire world at my fingertips to explore, and I have only scratched the surface. It showed me that life has a lot of moments where I'm gonna ask questions that I wish I had the answer too. But sometimes the response is just "Ten More." It showed me if I push through situations and go ten more, there are some pretty dang cool things on the other side of it. If I just enjoy the moment I'm in and not worry about what's next, life will be significantly better. If I go ten more with my relationships, my family, my school, my businesses, and my life, I might just get something out of it.

My takeaway is this. Go do hard things, go explore nature, go climb a mountain, and I mean heck, ask that girl out you have had a crush on. Because life is short and we can't waste it sitting around waiting for something to happen. Get out and find that moment where you can say " Only ten more!".

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