A “Symphony of Your Life” blog with Mark Hardcastle

Seth - Moab May 2011 022

Up on the watershed
Standing at the fork in the road
You can stand there and agonize
Till your agony’s your heaviest load
Never fly as the crow flies
Get used to a country mile
When you’re learning to face
The path at your pace,
every choice is worth your while

– The Indigo Girls, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers.

Here’s something I know about you today. Today you are facing a hard battle. And daily you choose to fight it – or not. How’s it going? Why do you do the things you do?

I had a chance to ask myself that question 3 ½  years ago. May 18th, 2012 I was over in Moab, UT with a bunch of friends who go there every year to ride mountain bikes. Day one of the trip began perfectly. Clear deep blue sky. Crisp morning air. Sitting in the Moab diner with biker breakfasts of pancakes and sausage, bacon and eggs, and biscuits and gravy we could look across Main Street and watch the sun warm the red rock wall of the Colorado River canyon.

We left the Diner and hitched a van ride to the Porcupine Rim trail head, geared up, cranked the rest of the way to the summit, and started the adrenaline-infused downhill through the willows toward the Castle Valley overlook. By this time a high overcast had moved in, providing some small mercy from what can be a tortuous sun in the Utah desert.

After freewheeling down the slope for about 45 minutes the trail crosses a paved road. So I skipped up onto the pavement, then down into the dirt on the other side. As I settled back into the single-track I saw the rocks sticking up on either end of the half-buried log. Not a big deal – I’d already negotiated far worse several times that morning so I didn’t think anything of it. Didn’t even slow down. But I do remember thinking “I’m gonna have to either jump that or go around it.”

That’s the last thing I remember from the ride.

The next thing I remember is waking up… looking at the sky, no longer gray. The sun in its arrogance was making itself fully known on my face. I was still on the trail, but I wasn’t on my bike anymore. And I wasn’t moving. In fact I couldn’t move my right arm. I could move everything else. But I couldn’t move my arm.

It is an indisputable fact of life that stuff happens. Fortune simply does challenge us on a regular basis with difficult situations. And we have an opportunity in those challenges to create meaning. Now it’s not the challenges themselves that matter. We have no say in what Fortune throws at us. The opportunity is in how we respond.  So how are you responding today when Fortune challenges you with difficult times?

We’ll think together again in Part 3: https://thesymphonyofyourlife.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/the-watershed-part-3/


Link to Mark’s book, The Symphony of Your Life


Mark graduated from the USAF Academy in 1982. After nine years as a pilot on active duty, he left the military to join a commercial airline. In addition to flying B-777s around the world, Hardcastle spends time in the Rocky Mountains and serves on the artistic staff of the Colorado Children’s Chorale. He lives in Centennial, Colorado, with his wife and four children. Contact Mark today to schedule a keynote or workshop for your organization!

One thought on “The Watershed Part 2

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