The Voice of Hope “Lost in a Blizzard”

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5th in the Series of 5 – Life Coaching

By Dr. Mike Brooks

For most people, a sense of survival and hope is a very important part of surviving! When traveling from Wisconsin to hunt with friends in the Colorado mountains a few years ago, we were caught in a blizzard and became lost when trying to navigate back down the mountain at night. I was scared and had to act. I knew if I didn’t, I surely would have died in the White River National Forest. Eventually my buddy Mark and I made it through the night and wandered for several hours in a horizontal snow and wind storm. We eventually made it back to our original camp where we started with the lean-to barely visible. The sun was up by then, so I decided to head down the mountain once again to get help. I had hypothermia and was fading fast. I fell several times in waist deep snow as the incline got steeper as I headed down the side of the mountain. At one point, I looked behind me and wondered how I even got to where I was. At one point I can remember tumbling down and free falling several feet off of rocky ledges, and bouncing down until I came to a stop.

The sound of the rushing water surprised me. I had no idea how I got where I was! I looked around and realized that I was in some river brush and I was lying on top of the brush with water rushing below me. I don’t know how long I was unconscious, but I woke up confused which really scared me. As I looked around the high cliffs, I wondered where I was. It wasn’t long until I realized I was at the bottom of the cliffs, and now I had to figure a way out. I was in no shape to climb out, so I decided to start yelling for help. I yelled and hollered with no response. The shivering was coming back again and I was extremely thirsty. After what seemed like forever, I decided that I would yell only one more time. Even though I had no strength to yell, I would give it all I had and accepted the fact that if anyone heard me, this is where they would find me dead or alive! So I yelled and still there was nothing but silence. Moments later, I heard someone yell, “Are you down there?”  I yelled back over the sound of the rushing water, “Yes I am!”

He told me not to move and reassured me he would be right down. He waded across the river to me then helped me back across the river in waist deep water. When we got to his pickup truck, he helped me get my wet clothes off and into a dry sleeping bag. He drove me down the side of the mountain, stopping at a checkpoint to pick up another search and rescue member. I can remember them trying to talk to me, but I was unable to correspond with them. One of the guys started slapping my face several times to keep me awake. I knew he was doing this to keep me from going into shock. I arrived at the Glenwood Springs hospital, exhausted, stiff, sore, and hardly able to move. I was in serious trouble with hypothermia.

I stayed at the hospital for three days then was discharged. The trip back to Wisconsin was a long one. I was very blessed to survive this ordeal. I learned that even when it looks hopeless, there is always hope in any given situation, but you may have to make things happen.

This event was a life changing event for me. I learned about my strengths and weaknesses. I learned to trust and hope. Many people just don’t have any more hope left and believe me when you need to believe in something, hope is always there. Is there a situation that you need hope and comfort? Do you need help in planning for a hopeful situation?

  “Never lose faith in yourself, and never lose hope; remember, even when this world throws its worst and then turns its back, there is still always hope.”

― Pittacus Lore

Do you have a situation in the home where you have lost your hope and need to learn how to find it again? Do you feel hopeless and are afraid of what tomorrow brings? Are you afraid to hope again after a personal loss? What scares you about hoping for things? If you answered yes to any of these questions, call me and I can help you find answers to finding peace in your life.

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