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I belong to a writing group called Five Minute Friday. Every Friday I am giving a one-word, writing prompt. The piece needs to be written within 5 minutes and posted without editing. The promt for this week is View.

Anxiety ran high due to the possibility of grizzly bear encounters, but I could not allow it to keep us from adventure. My husband and I flanked our children, bear spray dangling from the waist straps of our backpacks.

A quarter of the way into the hike I began to struggle. As the incline increased, my air supply decreased. This was not being out of breath from exercise, this was the thin air of altitude. I was surround by trees, but their gift of oxygen was withheld from my lungs. I stopped, bent over and heaved. Many walked by without struggle. Why was I?

“Let’s go back,” my husband said. I looked at my kids. My son, ready to bow out of the experience for my sake, seemed content with a change of plans. I could not read my daughter, but I do know their eyes were on me. “I did not hike a mile in to hike a mile out for no good reason.” We pushed on.

The darkness of the forest slowly opened to darts of light shooting through the trees. Hikers passed with encouragement, the end was not much farther. The sky opened and warmed my face as the breathtaking scenery revealed itself.

Before taking it all in, I turned to my children and said, “There will be pain and struggle In this life but the view on the other side will always be worth it. Do not ever give up.”

Avalanche Lake, Glacier National Park

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