June 20, 2011

Tip of the day—How does an ant eat an elephant?

DSC_9432 About 8 years ago, Hubby and I started hiking together.  We had been on a couple of hikes and decided to challenge ourselves with a bigger trail.  Perhaps I’m remembering it incorrectly, but I remember the hike being 7 miles to the summit and another 7 for the return trip back to the car.  I wasn’t in very good shape, and I remember the hike being an incline walk from the start. 

I’ll stop there and add that when I hike, well really when I do most anything, I tend to charge full force until I complete my goal.  I don’t really like to stop and rest.   Hubby encourages me to rest when I need, to stop and smell the roses more, to be in the moment.  He’s such a good influence on me!

During the hike I mentioned above, I became annoyed with myself when I had to stop and rest soon after we started walking.  Farther into the hike, I began to wonder if I’d make it.  About 4 miles in I became angry at Hubby—how could he make me hike a trail this hard?? (Note sarcasm in my words since Hubby never makes me do anything.)  About 5 miles in I started to cry, and I’m embarrassed to say that I threw a full fledged temper tantrum.  “I can’t do this,” I said.  We would ask hikers on their return trip for an estimate of how much longer it was to the summit, and they would tell us, “Not far now.”  I would get up and start walking again.  Then, Hubby changed his approach with me.  He encouraged me to focus only as far as I could see and to make it to that point in the trail.  As soon as I would get there, we would redirect our focus to the next landmark and walk to that point.  Pretty soon, we were at the top and were rewarded with one of the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve ever seen.  We had a picnic and rested by the water for about an hour.  The return trip was all downhill, literally, and I remember almost bouncing with my step as I walked down the trail towards our car. 

So to answer the question, “How does an ant eat an elephant?” the response is “One bite at a time.”  This week as you are working on your goals and to-do lists remember that sometimes the best approach is to focus on each step while keeping the bigger picture in mind.  Slowly but surely, just like that ant, you’ll complete your goal.


  1. Sharon - KnoxvilleJune 20, 2011 at 8:36 AM

    Great story - nice reminder!
    Have a great week.

  2. Sounds like our hike to the top of Half Dome. Amazing experience but it's not something you just casually do.