• H. Rick Goff

8 Miles


My wife and I walked 8 miles in three hours the other day on a local trail (when you go that far I consider it a hike). We didn't plan to walk that long or go that far, but as we walked and talked, the time and distance became irrelevant. We simply enjoyed and lived in the moment together. It reminded me of something I've learned and tried to live since forever, that life is not as much about the destination but more about the journey, and I have to appreciate and enjoy every moment. I try to make every moment count, and never pass up the opportunity to "take the road less traveled" to see and experience something different. I don't worry much about how far or how long it takes to get there; I just try to appreciate and learn from every aspect of my journey (the good, the bad and the ugly) each and every day.

In the trying times we live in today; you must respect and appreciate your journey. Yes, I know the struggle is real and even more real for some than others (we're in the same storm but in different boats), but that's the journey you're on. It's uniquely yours and every moment matters as they are all teaching and learning opportunities. Obvious (and not so obvious) life lessons are in every step, and if you are so focused and locked in on the destination, you can miss important moments of your journey. The people, places, and things you pass along the way that you sometimes consciously (and other times subconsciously) ignore, thinking they are not important; are critical parts of your journey. You must learn to see, hear, and feel what your journey is all about and what it is trying to teach you.


All aspects of your journey matter but the true value is not only learning but applying what you learn along the way. I recently watched a special on the 1996 USA Women’s Olympic basketball team, and to a woman they all teared up when they talked about the journey that culminated in their winning the gold medal. Yes, the Olympic Gold was the goal and the destination, but the moments on the journey to get there was the real story. The struggles they went through together is what jelled them into a winning team. They learned to appreciate those moments as they built up trust in each other on and off the court, and it reflected in the way they played the game. They were all successful as individuals on the court but the life lessons they learned and applied on their journey as a team is what changed their lives forever. They were not just better basketball players, but they were better people.


One of the many lessons I learned from the pandemic was to make family and family time my top priority. The long walks my wife and I would take almost every day and the weekly family zoom calls that we continue to this day, made the worst days of the pandemic bearable. It is a part of my journey and a reminder that we will all have a faceoff with our mortality at some point. But in the meantime, remember that your life is not as much about the destination but more about your journey. Take a long walk and make sure you appreciate and enjoy every moment.


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