Saturday, October 17, 2009

3 Accounts of an Awesome Day!

Today I had the pleasure of going on my first hike with Mr. Force. Besides the obvious of seeing the beautiful rock formations piled high, we learned a lot of valuable lessons.
Climbing a mountain is like living your life. Sometimes the slopes are easy and there is no trouble moving on. But once in a while you hit a, what seems impossible, obstacle. It may be a steep wall or some slick sand. Either way, reaching the top is the best thing you can do. The view was beautiful. We all felt so accomplished when we reached our goal. The hard things in life, like the climb, make the amazing things in life, like the view from the top, that much better.
Mr. Force took us out into the wilderness where we could really be ourselves; and then, he taught us that the best things in life are worth going out and working for, no matter how high the climb is – it’s worth it. No matter how steep it is, it always gets easier. And once you reach your potential, the downhill walk is a breeze.
-MR, Whisper Creek
We got dressed in our sweatpants and hoodies, and then left the Ranch around 8:15 this morning. We drove in our big white van until we were in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. We had finally arrived. It was the perfect temperature outside; the sand was reddish-brown. As we got further along in our hike, we stopped to admire the beautiful red rock mountains. We continued to hike until we came to another, this one even more awesome.
We slipped off our shoes, pulled off our socks to being our climb up the soft, cold sand. Some girls climbed faster than others, but we all eventually made it to the top. Not only was it an accomplishment to reach the pinnacle, looking down at how far we had come to get there was beautiful.
The challenge of climbing to the top of the red sand hill involved three steps. Step One: Get ready! To get ready to climb, as I said before, we slipped off our shoes and socks. Then got excited! Step Two: Start the adventure. We ran up the hill thinking nothing could get in our way. Step Three: Setbacks and struggles. Some of us slipped in the sand, some of us tumbled (almost all the way back to the bottom). Nobody reached the top without having to overcome several physical and mental challenges.
This hike relates to life at Diamond Ranch well. Most girls come to the Ranch thinking they can do it all on their own: No help, no setbacks. Here is where we start Step One. We prepare to go through the program. Step Two: We sometimes fake it and waste our breath to please other people. We can’t keep up with it, we get angry and then Step Three: We slip, tumble, and sometimes even fall. We then learn from our mistakes and other times perhaps we don’t. But, when we do, it all pays off when we’re standing at graduation, in front of an audience of our peers encouraging then that they too can do it, they too can graduate from DRA.
Looking back on our first day in the program, compared to the day we graduate is amazing. Not only is the accomplishment of completing the program beautiful, but the “new and improved you” is even more beautiful. Sometimes we’ll slip and quickly get up, and other times we’ll slip and fall down. It’s how we choose to handle it that makes us who we are. Going on this hike has taught me a lot: To appreciate life and all that has happened. Don’t regret the past, but learn from it to change your future.
-MW, Crystal Springs
We all loaded into the van; there were 13 of us with Betsy as the driver and Mr. Force as the guide. It was about a 40 minute drive and along the way, Mr. Force read us stories and facts from an Herbs and Remedies book that teaches some neat things about how plants are used in modern medicine.
We reached the hiking spot and all hopped out of the van, chattering excitedly and ready to start. We took a quick picture and went on our way. Trying to keep up with what Mr. Force called a “brisk” pace. We hike along until we reached the large red rocks, and Mr. Force stopped to explain that the wind, water, and sand had formed little holes throughout them. On a section of this massive wall of rocks, was a large hill of deep, red sand. We got excited as we took off our shoes and socks, and then took off trudging up the hill. We climbed higher and higher through the sand until we reached a little cove; we sat watching the few below slowly making their way up the hill. As we started to make our way back down, the sand slid like a little avalanche and our legs were buried deep in the sand with each step. It felt like skiing. We reached the bottom just in time to see Mr. Force doing summer-saults down the hill. Those who watched laughed uncontrollably. We all sat down to put on shoes back on, and discussed the symbolism of the hill and how the climb represented life.
Then, off we went to find on arch. This required about a mile of walking. When we reached the arch our shoes were plum-full of sand. So, we all sat under the arch that spanned the width of the walking path and poured the mountains of sand from our shoes, and visited for a few minutes. Mr. Force then gave us two options for our hike back: We could follow the same trail back to the van, or take a new, slightly more strenuous path. We chose the new path, and started on our way. We climbed up and down, through and over, and around many rocks. This new path was definitely the more adventurous way to go.
By the time we reached the van, we were “all hike out.” All of us loaded back into the van and headed back to the Ranch. The hike was very fun and educational. And, although it was challenging, it was fun to let loose and just be ourselves.
-TH, Whisper Creek

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