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Life Lessons from Hector Lake

Let me tell you the story of Hector Lake.

While Kenton and I were in Alberta this past fall, we took a day to drive from Lake Louise to Jasper. We knew there would be a lot of cool places to stop along the way. What was supposed to be a 3.5 hour drive took us almost 8 hours.

We had no cell reception while we were driving down highway 93 so we couldn’t look up where the best stops would be. We just looked for signs. But in the case of Hector Lake, I didn’t see anything, not even a parking spot, but Kenton said “I saw a lake in front of those mountains! It looked cool!” So we pulled over and started down a sketchy little path with no signs.

We figured the path would lead straight to the lake, so we kept following it even though it was starting to take longer than we thought. We kept saying “I think I see a clearing ahead. We must be almost there.” Just when we were about to give up, we heard the sound of water. “That must be it” we thought, so we kept following the increasing sound of rushing water until we reached... the river. Well, the river must lead to the lake, right?

So, we followed the river for a while, sometimes getting off the path and seeing more than a few sets of animal tracks. We got to a point where we felt like it was too late to turn around but we weren’t sure if this path really led to the lake at all. What if it went all the way around it before you could even get a good view?

I was starting to get nervous that a cougar was stalking us or that we’d run into a bear, when all of a sudden the trees opened up into a massive clearing. And in the clearing was one of the most beautiful lakes I’ve ever seen. Hector Lake. No tourists, no signs, no parking lot. Just the

unadulterated magnificence of creation. We could hardly believe our eyes.

I mean, just look at it.

We felt like we had discovered the greatest thing since sliced bread. Why weren’t there any signs?

Imagine if we had given up and turned around?

The funny part about the story is that after we hiked back out to our car, two minutes down the road there was a huge sign and look out for Hector Lake.

But it wasn’t nearly as cool as being there up close and personal.

I feel like there are some good metaphors for life and fitness in there. Don’t give up if your goals seem out of reach, or you’re not sure what’s ahead. Keep on the right path and it will get you where you need to go. And don’t be afraid to take risks!

It may very well pay off in ways that are better than you imagined.


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