(MARQUETTE, MI) – U.P. Power!  It’s a phrase Yoopers know well.  It means Upper Peninsula Power.  It stands for the collective spirit of those hearty souls who are natives or residents of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  It’s usually used in the context of high school sports when an Upper Michigan team gets into the State Finals in their sport in Detroit or Lansing.  But it also means a lot more.

Yesterday, U.P. Power changed my life!

My trainer Doug and yours truly enjoying the vistas from the top of Sugarloaf Mt. in Marquette.

Now before you chalk this all up to some silly hype, take a moment and read on.  Yesterday, I did something I haven’t done in nearly 20 years.  I got off of my duff and went up one of Marquette County’s true gems, Sugarloaf Mountain.  I did the hike with my trainer from Ringside Fitness, Doug Latvala and my blushing bride, April.  It was a fun hike and I felt great when I got to the top of the mountain.

As I said, it had been 20 years or so since I had been up on the top of Sugarloaf.  The reason why I hadn’t made this trip in so long was because I had somehow made the hike into something much worse than it really was.  It wasn’t really that bad at all!    Heck, I wasn’t even really winded when I got to the top.  But over the years, I had psyched myself out of even trying.

Yours truly with the lovely missus, April, up on Sugarloaf Mt. in Marquette.

I had the chance to walk around at the summit and look down on Marquette and Northern Michigan University and all of the surrounding natural beauty.  That’s when I started to feel it…U.P. Power!  The power of the beauty and majesty of the Upper Peninsula and how lucky we are to live here.

Then I had a moment of clarity.

I thought to myself, “If this hike wasn’t so bad after all, what other things had I psyched myself out of?  What experiences had I missed out on without even trying?”  It was a moment of looking inward and realizing some changes are in order.

Hey, I’m not planning on taking up hang-gliding or bungee-jumping, but I am planning getting past my fears mental blocks to take the steps in my life to increase my personal happiness and success.  It’s time to put the fears and nay-sayers aside and step up!    Life’s too short to get mired in doubt and fear.

This Yooper’s planning on flexing his U.P. Power and moving ahead!

Let the games begin!

-Walt Lindala