So today I climbed a mountain – good news, a literal one not a hypothetical one! I thought I’d just share a few thoughts on mountains as my legs recover whilst I type.
I set off and literally was puffing and panting in the car park, that might have been something to do with the full english breakfast my hosts had cooked me. Anyway, up I ascended! It was so hard, I understand the route I took was relatively short, but that’s because the ascent was instant. The following thoughts came very quickly to mind:
‘Maybe I’ll just forget it!’
‘I can’t turn around after declaring this a mountain climbing holiday’
‘Can I super impose a picture of me at the top of this mountain for Facebook?’
‘Is photographic evidence even necessary – I’ll just tell folk I climbed it and swiftly move on like it was no big deal’
Somehow, I ploughed on. The sun was beaming, and the first two thirds were a struggle. And by the way, for the few mountains I’ve done, you always get people running down the mountain – that’s quite frustrating, I feel like I need towing up it, let alone jogging down it. As I made my way to the summit the last third was much kinder, my thoughts did a U-turn, I was loving every minute, though I joke not – nearing the top there was a banana skin, I could of slipped and gone right back to the start! (ok, more likely slipped and died). I dodged the banana skin made it to the top and all of a sudden its worth it! The views were incredible!
The funny thing then happens on the way back down – I meet people still heading up and all of a sudden I become a mountaineering expert, encouraging people to keep going, ‘you’re nearly there’, ‘you can do it!’ (like I was never near quitting!)
Here’s what I’ve learnt from this experience:
- Mountains are tough, it can be a long way to climb them, choose the long route with a gradual ascent or the short route straight up – it doesn’t matter much, its tough.
- When you think you’ve reached the top, you can almost guarantee you haven’t – there’s more to go, a summit behind the summit. Keep going, you’re almost there.
- There are hazards up the mountain, watch out.
- Its WORTH it, the struggle IS worth it. The view at the top is like nothing you’ve experience – the pain was worth it.
- Its easy to praise near the top, the battle is down below.
- Others are conquering there own mountains, encourage them up it. Tell them they CAN do it.
We’ve all mountains to conquer in life, I’ve a few myself – desperate to get to the summit. Sometimes, I think I’ve made it and I haven’t. Keep pushing, the view at the top is breath-taking. You’re literally ‘on top of the world’.