Vail Daily column: What happens when we hit that wall? |

Vail Daily column: What happens when we hit that wall?

We have all been there at some point, right? I mean, we get so far along and we utter those words, “I have hit the wall.”

As we are cruising along the highway enjoying a nice drive and then suddenly we hit a wall of traffic. Maybe we hit the wall during a big meal and we simply cannot take another bite, or maybe we have been working for 16 straight hours and our bodies are just too exhausted to do anything more. We could find ourselves in the gym and we have completely maxed out for the day, we hit a wall. Now whether that wall is a real world obstacle to moving forward or a self-imposed or perceived barrier to going any farther, for some of us it is simply that we have just hit the wall.

Well, last weekend I was taking a hike on a local trail, and it was apparently a very popular place to hike that day because there was a lot of traffic on the path. Now I have been on this hike many times before and have turned it into a bit of a cardio workout. As I got to one of the steeper inclines it became a little congested as the path narrowed right at that spot, so I had to slow down a little, and then actually came to a stop.

I watched and found it incredibly interesting to see the various approaches that people took. Some folks seemed to see the steep as an invitation or challenge and actually increased their gait or speed to take on the incline with even more energy. Others maintained their same stride, not slowing down nor speeding up, just kept on going. The next group was interesting because they stopped, caught their breath, took a drink, talked about the best approach for ascending the hill, and then carefully continued.

And then there were folks who actually hit the wall, they got to the base of the incline, looked up, looked at one another, nodded, and slowly retreated back down the path.

We all have walls, barriers, blockades, hills, and obstacles in our lives. And we all have a choice to make about how we will meet each one. We can increase our pace and take on the fight hard and fast, we can just maintain control and keep forging ahead at our same pace regardless of what is in front of us, or we can stop and take a breather, assess the situation, refuel our bodies, come up with a plan and continue the climb up or around anything in our way.

Yes, we all hit the walls of life at times, but no matter which course of action we choose to take – aggressive, steady, or even just slow and cautious – we emerge victorious because we didn’t turn around and give up.

What happens when you hit the wall? I would love to hear all about it at and when you do decide to take on that wall, it will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

Support Local Journalism