Lessons from the Mountains

“No one ever climbed a mountain in one giant step” – Nik Mirhashemi

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Summit of Mt. Democrat

For me, it’s the moment that you ascend above treeline and are completely exposed to the elements that changes things. The wind ripping at your face, the cold tingling through your bones, the air barely giving you enough oxygen to breathe. It’s the moment of “Oh shit. I’m really doing this” that gets me every time. And I wonder why am I putting myself through this? Then, of course, I take another step.

If you think that going up is hard, trust me, making the decision to turn back without making summit is even harder. But if you start counting your successes in how many summits you can make, you lose some value in the journey. The lessons and experience you bring back aren’t found on the summit. They’re found in the steps.

So I learned that all of this, everything, not just mountains, but life, is just that. One step at a time. It doesn’t mean that the steps will be pleasurable. It doesn’t mean they won’t be painful, exhausting, or even terrifying. But if you are going to take that step, stomp hard, and make sure it is damn well worth stomping for. Because if it isn’t, you may find, no matter how hard you try, that you will always be stuck on a false summit.

And man, do they suck.

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