It took a while for the caffeine in the Gu drops to take effect. By the time I got a fourth of the way up the steps, I wanted to curse. That’s how brutal the steps were to my already aching body. I had to start singing. I remembered singing in the choir at Lakewood Church in Houston when we sang worship songs on Sunday mornings and Tuesday nights at choir practice. I pictured myself standing in the choir loft with my beautiful brothers and sisters, my hands lifted high, praising and worshiping God. Whenever I felt that curse word coming on:
“Glorify your name, glorify your name, glorify the name above all names.”
And one of my favorites:
“Sing over me songs of deliverance. Lord, cover me with your mighty hand. Sing over me, God of the second chance. Sing over me once again.”
The next phase of the journey took us through Little Yosemite Valley, a virtually flat place where the trail is laden with beach sand, which is somewhat difficult to hike through. Our group reassembled at a rest spot and then we headed further up the trail. At this point, we were beginning to gain altitude, and by the time we reached the switchbacks coming up out of the Valley, I felt it big time.
My initial perception of this part of the hike was that it was going to be fairly easy. I couldn’t have been more wrong. This was the part where I encountered hell and some awful thoughts began churning in my head.