Bears Don’t Have Sh*t on Ute Ute Utah

November 17, 2019

 

A Productivity Hack From The Beaut

So the majority of this episode is all about just how crazy I am. Again. But before we got into that, Ashley provided us with a  quick productivity hack.

Not snoozing + no social media = higher levels of productivity

Who’d have thunk it?? I mean it makes sense, but I don’t think we truly realize how quickly our time gets away from us while scrolling through facebook, or even just snoozing for a few extra minutes each morning.

As the title of this episode implies, I (along with Tyler) spent some time in Utah. I thought that being off the grid for a week would have helped me detox from my smartphone addiction, but that was a no go. So, have loosely committed to a social media detox…sometime, someday, soonish. We’ll keep you up to date on that one.

Ute Ute Utah

(If you haven’t listed to the episode you totally should, if for no other reason than to hear our former Mormon sing the Utah song. It’s even better than our theme song!)

Tyler and I spent a week RVing from Denver to Moab and back with 12 of his family members. This was something new for both of us, and as per usual, it scared the shit out of me!

Those hypothetical bears I was afraid of in Western Maryland are nothing compared to the actual cliffs that I could have fallen off of in Utah. I literally spent at least two hours every day of this trip afraid for my life.

Case in point: Colorado National Monument outside of Grand Junction, CO.

The canyons just kept getting crazier and the potential drop to my death, longer. This place was called Island in The Sky, if that provides any context.

I was petrified to get this close to the edge here. This is as far as I could go.

Tyler’s cousin, Evan, and my (pretty-much) sister-in-law, Lisa climbed all up and over the every edge of these fucking rocks like it was nothing.

A Small Shift

Somewhere along the way I experienced a pretty interesting perspective shift, thanks to Lisa.

In an attempt to manage my anxiety about the potential of the RV rolling off the side of a mountain and taking me with it, I used the two questions I shared a few episodes back:

  • Is this a real problem in the real world, right now? Yes. Obviously.
  • Is there anything I can do about it? Nope, I’m not the one driving this death-mobile.

But…Lisa explained that in her mind the answer to the first question was “No. Obviously.” This got me thinking. 

Now, she wasn’t about to convince me that she was right, but her statement still resonated with me. I assumed that everyone else knew, just like I did, that their RV could easily roll off the side of the mountain at any moment, and that they just weren’t as worried about it as I was. So, to realize that the others weren’t managing their fear better, but that they didn’t have the fear to begin with…that was pretty eye opening.

I can’t say that it quelled my anxiety, but I can say that it did occasionally help me reframe my perspective (when I could stop hyperventilating long enough to do so), which put put me in a different headspace.

You know what else I can say? There Was A Fucking Cliff Everywhere I Went This Entire Trip!!!

Another cousin, Claire wasn’t only not afraid, she regularly performed gymnastics moves on these rocks and cliff ledges. NBD.

So, anyway, after the Island in The Sky we went to these Whale Rock thingies. I wasn’t afraid of this one until I got to the top. This is where I just sat my ass down and waited for everyone to finish looking over the edge, doing hand stands, and generally acting like monkeys.

Here is the face of a person trying not to melt down in front of 13 other people.

We visited Mesa Arch twice – once in the evening just before the sun went down, and once the next morning as the sun came up. So beautiful!

And then there was Arches National Park and the fucking Devils Garden. I’m sweating just writing this, as it was probably the most scared (and equally the most proud) I felt the entire trip. I don’t know that the pictures really do it justice, so you’ll just have to trust me when I say that the climb was steep and the drop off on either side was legit.

Here’s where I convinced myself to push just one step further than I did the last time my fear took over. I gave myself a little pep talk: “Yesterday when I was this terrified, I stopped. Today I’m going to figure out a way to make it happen, even if it takes all afternoon. Next time I’ll figure out how to make it happen on the first try.”

Let me tell you, it was worth it. I am so glad that I pushed through. This moment was the highlight of the trip for me.

 

And finally we came to Delicate Arch. By far my favorite hike, but by the time we got to the arch itself, I was just done for. You can’t see the drop off that well, but trust me, there’s nothing to the right of that path except sudden death.

 

Yet another photo of me saying that I’ve had too much.

And because of that I did miss the opportunity to be in this really amazing group shot of all the cousins.

Part of me has some regret about this, but part of me feels like I earned every moment I sat on my behind gripping that rock for dear life.

The Best Part of It All

And you know what…I kind of forgot how much I love being outdoors. This trip was an amazing reminder.

What a spectacular experience, in so many ways.

And no, the bears have nothing on Ute Ute Utah!  

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