Story last updated at 8/15/2012 - 1:37 pm
Just one more. It's amazing how far that phrase can get a person. If you're ever up against a challenge you're struggling against keeping enthusiasm for beating, using the "just one more..." approach will usually get you further than you might think.
Perseverance Trail in Juneau is one of my latest conquests of this method.
When I first moved here, my brother had also driven up to help me move and on one of the first days here we explored Gold Creek and the trails around the area.
We were breathing heavily in short order when we started up the trailhead to Perseverance. I was out of shape. Not that I'm in shape now, but it was a lot worse when I first got here. My goal had been to make it through Perseverance, because what we were able to see of the trail - making it just past the gate that first day in August - was stunning.
Some of my coworkers back at the Juneau Empire always talked about running up Perseverance, and it still makes my eyes cross just thinking about it. My goal was much smaller - just walk it.
When my mother came up to visit this summer, we took on Perseverance unintentionally. We'd actually nerded out at the convenience store a few days earlier and bought cheap gold pans for giggles. We'd set out to tour the gold mining museum, however didn't plan our time very well and showed up during an hours-long break between operating hours. So I suggested that we scale the trail. We weaved through the curvy path before hitting the main trailhead. My mom wasn't having any of it, mostly due to post-lunch issues. I pointed just past the gate: "Just past there is a really good view for a picture," I told her.
So we hiked up the trail to just that point.
"Let's just go up around the corner," she said after.
And so, we made our way up the toughest part of Perseverance that way until it leveled out and became a more leisurely trail. I had always thought that the entire trail was like the portion at the beginning - steep and hilly.
Instead we were treated to a beautiful waterfall, interesting plants and trees, a section of river/creek that had so many bubbles in it it looked like fizzy water, moss and tiny mushrooms and so much more.
Eventually, "just one more..." was used for one more section before we headed back so we didn't miss the museum.
I am glad we kept "just one more-ing" our way through the trail. We wanted to go back to the trail while she was visiting, but we ran out of time and it wouldn't stop raining that week (what a surprise, eh?).
That approach is one I've used often: back in college, when we were assigned more homework than could actually be done on time (just one more chapter), to past jobs that I either didn't like or a specific task I didn't like, chores, pretty much anything that became tedious or difficult to focus on.
There are so many things in life worth doing - worth sticking it out for - it's so easy to do one more piece... and then push for one more, and another, and then it isn't long before you're further ahead than you'd imagined.
Sarah Day is the editor of Capital City Weekly. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.