Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | June 28, 2018

The Pursuit of Adventures

Our lives, it seems, are increasingly oriented toward the pursuit of convenience and ease. And while these may be rewards of hard work, if we are not careful they can actually keep us from doing hard things.

Doing hard things requires a commitment to do more than watching Bear Grylls scramble down a mountain. There is, after all, absolutely nothing adventurous about watching others have adventures. We have to engage in the pursuit of our own adventures.

Doing hard things requires movement away from ease and toward a context where we will get dirty and our muscles will ache and we risk failure and we have to push past the pain or else we will fall short.

This past weekend, a group of men and boys from Kingsland met at Guadalupe Mountains National Park to do something hard. We drove six-hundred and fifty miles for the opportunity to stand at the top of Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas.

Summiting Guadalupe Peak is hard. The hike along the steep and winding trail to the top is rated as strenuous. Having summited this peak three previous times, I knew for a fact that it would not be any less strenuous on my fourth bid.

We met at the trailhead at 6:30 in the morning while temperatures were still tolerable. Huge amounts of excitement swirled in the morning breeze and mixed with bits of anxiety as we waited like race cars with engines revved high.

We took a moment to share final thoughts about our adventure, we prayed, and then we hit the trail. Every guy knew that the first mile and a half would be the hardest because of the steep elevation gain.

Like a brick wall, the first mile and a half stops those who are either unprepared or don’t want to summit badly enough. This is where hikers have to decide whether they are willing to push past the pain.

The heat only added to the difficulty. As the morning wore on the temperatures continued to creep higher until they inched past the hundred degree mark. Our bodies craved hydration and electrolytes and power bars.

Every man and boy quickly settled into his respective rhythm as they trudged up the trail, slowly eating away at the elevation. My hiking mantra on this particular trail is pace and place — maintain a steady pace and watch where I place my feet.

Every one of the guys hiked his own hike and just past mid-morning, we began to populate the summit and feast on the amazing views. I felt just as excited as the day on which I first solo hiked to the top of Texas.

Standing at the summit of Guadalupe Peak with an amazing band of brothers was worth every hard step along the way. This is something we did together — a shared adventure, a reminder that we must do life in community with other men because alone is dangerous.

One thing is certain, the guys on this adventure will always share a special bond. We made it to the top of Texas on one of the hottest days of the year. We watched out for and encouraged one another. We enjoyed great fellowship. And we did it as a band of brothers.

I am grateful for my friend Gil Harris who leads our Men of Kingsland and challenges us to engage in shared study, shared mission, and shared adventure. Our shared study will resume in September. And, Gil and I will continue to work together to challenge our men to engage in shared mission and shared adventures.

Stay tuned for the next opportunity to do something hard.


  1. Omar, David and I agreed that this was one of the hardest things we have done together ever. Even though we ran out of water in our last mile coming down, we will remember this hike always. We’re about to go to Colorado and Wyoming for a family vacation and I think this has prepared us well. Thanks for organizing this adventure and for your encouragement throughout.
    Until our next shared adventure.

    – Selim and David

    • So glad you and David had such a great time and made an awesome memory. Have a great time on your vacation. Let’s go mountain biking when you get home.

  2. Omar, Thanks for the pics and the inspiration. I need to climb that one day!

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