Vail Valley: No matter your journey, it’s worth the trip |

Vail Valley: No matter your journey, it’s worth the trip

If you have ever hiked the Hanging Lake trail in Glenwood Canyon, you will be familiar with this phrase – “It’s worth the trip.”

Having done the hike several times now – twice in just the past month – one of the things I enjoy most about the climb up to the lake is the faces, expressions, and words of encouragement from the proud hikers who are now on their way back down the hill. They exude pride and enthusiasm, anxious to find a tired soul on the side of the trail huffing and puffing, and hearten them by saying something like “Oh, you have to keep going” or “You’re almost there – you can make it.”

Whatever words they use, it always includes the punch line, “It’s worth the trip.”

One of the other fun things to notice on the trek is the types of people on the trail. People of all ages, shapes, sizes, and handicaps are making the journey. I have seen an 80-year-old woman cajole a teenager who was struggling, and I saw a gentleman with an artificial lower limb give confidence to a struggling couple that was almost near the top. And sooner or later everyone does reach the top. Some race up while others take a much slower and steady pace, but in the end, they all make it, to also proclaim that it was indeed worth the trip.

Whether you are hiking Hanging Lake or climbing your way through life, it is worth the trip!

There will be steep and rough patches and there will be times where our footing isn’t so sure. But we endure, reaching farther each time, sometimes testing even our own limits. At times we race up the hill piling on successes on top of successes and other times we need to pause and take a breath or two. We may need to make adjustments to our path or our pace, but we eventually get going again. And sooner or later, each and every one of us ultimately gets “there.” And where that is can really only be defined by the person on their own journey in the pursuit of their individual goals.

You see, it’s about commitment. The locals know the beauty that awaits them and the tourists who hike Hanging Lake have heard so much about the spectacular waterfalls and colorful pond at the summit that when they get to the trailhead to begin their hike they are already completely committed to reaching the top regardless of the obstacles they face. And, as Zig Ziglar says, “Obstacles are the things we see when we take our eyes off of our goals.”

It’s your business, your relationships, your personal goals and dreams, your hike – “It’s worth the trip.”

Tell me about the joys and triumphs of your hike at and remember that no matter what, “It’s worth the trip.” Make it 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.

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