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A Balanced View
Photo: Kathy Lewis
According to numerous local sources, Cathedral Rock is the most photographed and famous scene in Sedona, Ariz. If you’ve been privileged to travel to Red Rock Country, you know that wherever you might cast your gaze, breathtaking crimson rock formations of various shapes and sizes rise up to meet you. 

There’s Coffeepot Rock, Courthouse Butte, Snoopy, Mitten Ridge and Chimney Rock, just to name a few. But standing nearly 5,000 feet tall, with a number of towering side rocks, the grandeur of Cathedral Rock is a favorite among photographers and hikers alike. Even though the trek to the top is barely more than a half mile, the short climb to the vermilion spires is steep and strenuous in places. Somehow, it is reminiscent of tramping uphill to view ancient Greek ruins.

When you finally reach the saddle points, magnificent views await you on every side. Sitting on top of the world, so to speak, one is content to just be.

On a recent trip to Sedona, I scrambled up the bare sandstone slopes of Cathedral Rock around 7 a.m. to marvel at the striking shadows the early morning sun cast upon the ruddy cliffs and rolling hills below. Another couple and myself snapped photos of each other while sharing the panoramic view.

Suddenly, a single male in his mid thirties bounded up the top step and without a word or  glance in our direction, nor even a peak at the breathtaking vista before him, made an abrupt about face and headed back down the trail.

Self Absorbed in Fitness Routine

“Hey wait!” I called after him. “You’ve got to be kidding!” But he wasn’t. The three of us just looked at each other in utter amazement as we realized that hiker might just as well have been doing his morning workout in a fitness center in the inner city. The peace, serenity and shear beauty of his surroundings, was completely lost to the man so self absorbed in his fitness routine that he saw nothing else.

Much has been written on the benefits of outdoor exercise for our physical and mental well being. But less has been said about balance. The word itself brings to mind well rounded harmony and points to mental and emotional stability. Without it, the pendulum always swings too far to the left, or right.

Even exercise, without balance, leans toward obsession and addictive behavior. However, with it, the same activity becomes the total rejuvenating experience it was meant to be.

As you walk, jog or hike, observe the beautiful cloud formations; stop to pet a furry kitty; follow a butterfly flitting from blossom to blossom; listen to the wild call of distant coyotes; smell the Ponderosa pine; notice the flowers in bloom; see a zebra striped lizard sunning on a rock; spot a brown cotton tail darting into the bushes, and thank the Creator for all He has given you to enjoy.

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By Kathy A. Lewis. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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