On a Mission Fall 2018

Sometimes life gives you a straight, honest look at yourself. Such was the case last month when I visited the Smoky Mountains in Tennes- see. Amidst the shopping and pancake eating, we ventured up the mountain to see Clingmans Dome, a 6,000 foot mountain top with a 50-foot walk-up tower; and what a view. What “they” don’t tell you is how hard you have to work to get there. Let me just break it down for you: the most heart-pounding half mile of my 50-year-old life! My 14-year-old daughter and I decided to take the hike, she being thin and fit from cheer and track, me slightly over my “ideal” weight. Af- ter nearly blacking out from light-headedness a few times, and gasping for air a few times, and resting on the beloved benches a few times, and, occasionally, begging my daughter to slow down, and chugging water like it was the last adored bottle on Earth, WE MADE IT! (Constant thought racing through mind the entire time: Get my cardiologist on speed dial!) The signs may say only a half-mile up, but the incline is what creates a recipe for heart pal- pitations, drenching perspiration, incinerating sensations of the legs, ankles, and feet, as well as brief periods of unconsciousness. As I looked around, self-conscious of my heavy breathing, I noticed people of all ages and body types slowing down and taking bench breaks just like me. Two teen girls, with negative body fat also had to rest along the way more than once. I’m not the only one, I thought to myself. As we neared the top of the observation tower, I began to hear a toddler wail. My thoughts exactly, as I ventured up the last few feet of my personal challenge. Atop the dome was an epiphany – a profound feeling of relief and satisfaction. (Isn’t that where Ronnie Milsap was supposed to meet and greet me?) Thank goodness picture taking only requires smile muscles and not leg muscles! The views were breathtaking and the sky was clear enough to truly accentuate the beauty in Climb Wit “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7 36 | FALL 2018 ON A MISSION womenonamission.net