A new perspective from adversity

I returned early last week from an amazing trip with my son, David, and the Boy Scouts of Troop 132. We hiked Yellowstone National Park and part of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). The CDT connects Mexico to Canada. We took all necessary precautions on our flights for COVID19, and I am happy to report no one has tested positive for COVID19. 

The second week of the trip, we were on a portion of the CDT between Montana and Idaho. This trail spans a mountain ridge about 9,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level. This part of our country is beautiful, and I would strongly recommend anyone who has not seen the area, to visit.

As I sit here thinking about the trip, I am reminded about how our perspectives can change after bad things happen. A friend of mine calls it “putting difficult experiences into a cookie jar and being able to take them out when we are faced with adversity”.

On the 2nd day of the CDT, we hiked 11 miles with 40-pound backpacks. Most of our tents, water, and food were carried on our backs. The weather was getting cold (about 35 to 40 degrees) and we decided to stop for the day and make camp. The way you hike the CDT, is by hiking on the ridge lines above tree level and camping about 1,000 feet below in a valley. We set up camp and put up our lightweight backpacking tents. I am originally from New Jersey, but I have been in Florida for over 30 years and I kind of remember cold weather. I was unprepared for what happened next. 

It started to snow later that night. It did not just snow, we had 2 feet of snow in 2 hours starting around midnight. The weight of the snow crushed our tents and forced them to collapse.  At about 2:30 AM, our guide, Marshall, who helped us navigate the trail came out of his tent and told everyone to be quiet. He said, “Everyone be quiet. Do you hear that?” Then we heard it– the howling noise from the darkness beyond our camp site. Then multiple howling noises. ‘That is the sound of wolves circling our campsite.’ We were extremely fortunate they did not come closer. However, it does put things into perspective.

The Continental Divide Trail, near the border of Montana and Idaho.

When I returned to sunny Florida, I heard a lot of fear (some real and some irrational) about the virus, the economy, Congress, and the President. As I hear all of this, this Palm Beach Gardens Financial Advisor, is reminded that this is nothing compared with the safety of 10 boys in the woods, during a 2-foot snowstorm, with wolves circling our campsite.

I ask you to reflect as we enter this July 4th weekend, what adversity have you overcome in the past that you can use to strengthen yourself as we continue in these troubling times? What past experiences can you take out of your cookie jar and use to help you navigate these times? We live in an amazing country and I love the United States. I hope you all have a great and safe weekend and rest of the summer.

As always,

Plan Today. Protect Tomorrow. 


©Copyright 2020 by Peter Blatt. All rights reserved.

Peter Blatt

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