One of My All-time Worst Days...

One of my worst days ever turned into one of my best days ever. 
On the same day.

I was in the earliest miles of a 550-mile trek across Spain. My feet were painfully bruised. I had an ankle that looked like a softball from having twisted it. I was hungry, tired and had weeks to go to get to the finish line. My thoughts were already rolling downhill before my " worst-turned-best" day even started.

I left where I was staying around 5:30 a.m. to start walking. The forecast was heavy rain later that morning, so my plan was to hit the trail as early as I could and crank out as many miles as possible before the big rain came.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn't think much of my plan.

Within an hour of leaving, the rain poured down as if a shower had been turned on in the heavens. The lightweight rain poncho I had packed ripped as I pulled it over my backpack. I was already freezing and the water reaching my clothes and skin brought on new shivers. I found out I knew a lot more curse words than I thought I knew.

But that wasn't what qualified the day as the "worst."

I was walking on a stretch of trail that had the funkiest soft clay mud I had ever seen. With every step, my ankles slipped deep into the muck. It took an effort to pull each foot up and out of the sludge and lift the heavy shoe another step forward. There was no cover anywhere. No trees. No buildings. There was just me...the downpouring cold rain...the deep ooze...and miles of the same path ahead of me.

I desperately hated the moment. Welcome to one of my all-time worst days.

As I thought about the fact that I had never experienced anything remotely close to what I was experiencing, I was walloped by the unique realization that "Wow! I have never done this before!

And here I was: surviving...not giving up...moving forward...and succeeding. 

"I can do this!"

The rain was the same. The ankle deep mud and cold were the same. But my thoughts were not the same. 

The feeling of "Wow!still danced in my brain. However, it had changed from the hopeless despair of "Wow! This super sucks!" to the uplifting thought that "Wow! This is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure!" That moment to prove I could weather the storm no matter how brutal...has now become a moment I can forever look to when lightening strikes my world.

One of my worst days ever became one of my best days ever.

A moment's impossibility goes either up or down depending on whether we choose to push our mental elevator's "up" or "down" button.

The next time you're walking through your own "life storm" and sinking ankle-deep in your own version of  "mud" ask yourself:

"Up or down?"

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Shawn Anderson                                                 (310) 402-4826