We flew to Utah, drove 4 hours to our rental house and readied ourselves for the hike the next morning. The first half of the hike was like any other normal day hike. I few switchbacks and we were on our way. Then we made it to the landing part of the hike where people relax on their way up and down the mountain.
I remember this moment so clearly. My girlfriend proposed that we had come far enough and maybe we should just turn around here and not enter the treacherous part of the hike. My response? “One, I don’t do regret. And if we don’t finish this hike, we will both regret it. And two, I don’t like doing things twice and I know if we don’t climb this mountain, you are going to make me come back next year and do this again. So get up and let’s finish this.”
So we did. We spent the next 2 hours testing our grit and perseverance. How bad did we want it? We clutched to chains on the side of the mountain a mile high, we walked across rock bridges with steep drops on both sides, we scaled a wall of boulders. It was intense and terrifying, but we did it.
When we got to the top we celebrated, took pictures and reveled in the beauty. It would be an understatement to say we were proud, but we had no idea what was coming next…we had to go DOWN the mountain too!
Though going up, achieving the goal of getting to top, pushing to get the thing we want was hard, going down proved to be the biggest challenge of all. Now every chain we clung to, every boulder we scaled, every mile high acrobatics we had to do, we now did with gravity working against us! Down was WAY scarier than up.
Over the course of the next few weeks, I reflected on the experience and realized there were parallels between that hike and what I heard from the survivors I spoke to during my time at the shelter. How can these two things be same? Easy. Getting out of an abusive relationship is hard. Staying out, traversing the downhill climb after you’ve achieved the thing you’ve worked so hard for, is so much harder and tests you in ways you didn’t expect and weren’t prepared for. That’s why I chose the name Angels Landing for this Charity. We are here to support survivors of domestic violence through every phase of their journey.