Posted By Matthew

A Tale of Two Voices

Prior to this past weekend I had never been snow shoeing before. It always seemed like way more work than it was worth and a regular hike was fine by me anyway. However when I called the park service hotline at Rocky Mountain National Park the pleasant man on the other end of the line informed me that almost all the trails were still buried in snow. Any trail worth seeing, he pointed out, would be accessed primarily through snow shoeing.

It was at that time I felt the first tinge of ‘quit’ rising up in me. “Wouldn’t it be smarter”, I thought, “to try snow shoes some other time?” I glanced out the window and noticed the perfectly blue skies, 60 degree weather, and clear-as-day mountains in the distance. I decided there was no time like the present.

After I secured the proper equipment I made the drive up to Rocky Mountain and took off to meet Loch Vale, a rather well known hiking destination and point of natural beauty. The following video takes place at the summit of Loch Vale. I was quite alone and had a chance to collect my thoughts. It was then that I made a few connections between that hike experience and martial arts, namely how two different voices influenced my behavior that day – one telling me not to bother, the other challenging me not to quit.

Enjoy the video and I’ll share some pictures afterward:



The following are a handful of photos that help illustrate some of the points in the video. Loch Vale provided a very scenic, very challenging experience that I am glad to have undertaken.


Snow Shoe Gear Rocky Mountain National Park Snow shoe gear getting ready go. They were cheap to rent, simple to put on, and invaluable during the hike.
Loch Vale Inclines At times the path was gentle, but those were rare moments. Most of the trail was filled with steep inclines, creeks underfoot, and rock outcroppings.
Loch Vale Trail Taking breaks was never a problem. Every stop for water warranted a reward to help keep me going.
Loch Vale Trail Vista The scope of the vistas really became apparent after climbing passed the point where most travelers stopped.
Loch Vale in Winter Sweet success! Why not shoot a video? Just don’t step too far back or that lake ice might get an impromptu test.


I hope you enjoyed this little reflective trip through nature. All the best in your continued training!