On November 19, a friend, a Britt mentor, and I completed the Cactus to Cloud hike in Mount San Jacinto State Park, Palm Springs, CA. It was 21.2 miles of pain that taught me more than I could have wished for. If I had known the physical extent of the hike prior to departing, I am not sure if I would have been able to complete it. I was shocked to see what I was able to accomplish. On the hike, I saw the limits my mind puts on me, as well as the very realistic and useful ability to break those limits. I surprised myself seeing what I had accomplished, despite the physical pain. My mentor taught me the importance of a little light-hearted fun in difficult times. Throughout the hike, using accents, jokes, and fake scenarios, he kept the mood light and spirits high. If it weren’t for him, the focus would have been on pain and the long distances left to go. Finally, I got to experience the feeling of accomplishment upon reaching the summit. After scaling the mountain, the ability to look back to where we started out and the distance we had come was a rewarding feeling unlike any other. I am forever grateful for the lessons the hike taught me, and the guiding hand of the mentor throughout.
- Mitch Woolley