This past weekend, my California sister called me and asked if I wanted to go for a hike.  She was going to ride her bike with her other friend and I could hike with her son.  She said the goal was to hike from Eaton Canyon, up three miles to Henninger Flats (2,600+ ft. elevation).  She said, “you don’t have to go all the way to the Flats.  Just go as far as you can.  There are benches on the way up, we can meet you there on our way back down.”  So she didn’t think I could hike all the way up to the Flats, eh?  I saw this as a challenge.  I had to prove her wrong.

I don’t know why but whenever someone tells me I can’t do something, I have to prove them wrong.  I hiked all the way up to Henninger Flats and back down, six miles round trip, then I walked another half mile home.  I would have hiked all the way up to Mt. Wilson if she had told me she didn’t think I could.  Of course I am extremely sore today but I achieved my goal.  And I told her I would do it again next weekend.

Am I insane? Maybe.  Stubborn?  Definitely.  My whole life, for some reason unbeknownst to be, I have always set out to prove people wrong whenever they said I couldn’t do something.  No one thought I would really move across the country at the age of 17 to go to USC but I did.  No one thought I would last all 4 years but I did.  No one believed me when I said I was moving to Florida, but I did it.  Then my own father said I would never be able to drive across country all by myself in a 15 foot Penske truck pulling my car on a trailer.  But I made it from Detroit to Reno, doing all the driving myself.  I was told I would never find a job in California again but I did.  And then I was told I would never last as a teacher but here I am in my 4th year of teaching.

Life would be incredibly boring if I never took any chances and always took the safe path through life.  I like the curvy, winding road that is strenuous.  It is not in my genetic make-up to ever do anything the easy way.  I always have to do things the hard way.  I often get myself into trouble but I am constantly learning new things and exploring new places.  I would try something new every day if I could.  I wish I had someone by my side during all of my adventures but for now, I am content to bring Flat Stanley, to go on my own or to drag my friends when I can.

My philosophy is that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  And all of the challenges in my life provide me with ample writing material.

So to my friends & family, go ahead, keep telling me that you don’t think I can do something and I will keep proving you wrong!