One foot in front of the other, they say. It will be easy, they say. It is not that steep, they say. These statements were all said as we trekked through the cemetery to begin the tiki trail. Sounds friendly enough? WRONG! As soon as we begin, I face a steep climb with rocks of all sizes in our path. What have I gotten myself into?

After playing soccer for 16 years and not stretching as every well-intentioned adult has told me to do, my calves are what I like to call tight. Tight calves and uphill are not a very fun combination, and this hike is exhibit A. Within a few minutes, and that is generous, my calves were hurting, and we had barely begun the journey ahead. I genuinely did not know how I was going to make it. I grudgingly kept making my way up, with light conversation keeping me going. Then I stopped to catch my breath and asked how much longer we had to which David and Callahan responded that we barely started. I was struggling to picture myself getting to the top of Bob’s peak. However, I remembered my middle school self who used to memorize inspirational movie scenes as motivation. Don’t ask me why because I am not sure I have a good enough reason as to why. However, it is one inspirational scene that gave me the stamina and determination I needed to conquer this trail.

I don’t know if any of you are familiar with the movie Rocky Balboa. I am embarrassed to say as much as I know this scene by heart, I have never seen the movie. However, this movie scene turned me from the weak link to the leader of the pack. In the scene, Rocky is talking to another person, and he says:

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows, it’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, no one is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you can hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.”

This is my formal apology to Callahan, David, Hope, Wes, and Jake for my annoying, constant repetition of this scene for 75% of the hike, but no one can say it wasn’t effective. It truly helped me go on the death traps called stairs, ignore the pain in both my knees and calves, and disregard my lack of stamina as a person who is about as asthmatic as you can be without being asthmatic.

After many unintentional lies that we were almost there, we made it to the top. The saying no pain, no gain, is an accurate representation of this hike. The full view of Queenstown with the Remarkables took my breath away. I could not help but sit there in awe of the natural beauty of New Zealand that we have gotten to experience these past 15 days.

To Bob’s peak, you were beautiful, and the hike was worth it. As Walt Disney said in one of the best movies, Meet the Robinsons, you must “keep moving forward.”