Climbing mountains…getting strong
She climbed until she saw…and saw…and saw…
I love the quote, “She Climbed Until She Saw” by Compendium. And so it became the title of this blog documenting my transformation journey over the last four years. A journey to health, happiness and personal growth.
It also became the metaphor for my transformation — for the internal work I needed to do to learn to love and accept myself as enough. And for the physical mountains I would climb as part of my journey to weight loss.
It was in weight-loss boot camp that I climbed my very first mountain…and survived! I’ve now been climbing mountains for fitness and for pleasure every since. And I always look forward to both the physical challenge, and the mental one.
In November of 2010, as I readied for weight-loss boot camp, my dear friend Jean sent me this quote, which I’ve found myself reflecting on these past couple of days. I want to share it here again with you all because it is so representative of my journey and the struggles we all face going for our big, hairy, audacious goals — you know, the one(s) that have alluded you and that you say you’ll tackle someday. Here’s the poem — one of my favs.
I tried to climb the mountain today. As I inched my way up the path, I felt out of breath and had to turn back.I tried to climb the mountain today. But, it was so hot outside, I thought I had better stay in my nice air-conditioned house and rest up for tomorrow’s attempt.
I tried to climb the mountain today. On my journey, darkness started to fall and I was full of fear, so I had to return to a safe place. I was ready to climb the mountain today. But I had so may other things to do, so instead of climbing the mountain I took care of the much more important tasks; I washed my car, mowed the grass and watched the big game. Today the mountain will have to wait. I was going to climb the mountain today. But as I stared at the mountain in all it’s majestic beauty, I knew I had no chance of making it to the top, so I figured why even begin trying.
I had forgotten about climbing the mountain today, until an old friend came by and asked what I was up to lately. I told him about all my plans to climb that mountain someday. I went on and on about how I was going to accomplish the task. He stopped me and said, “I just got back from climbing that mountain. for the longest time I told myself I was going to try to climb it but never made any progress.”
“I almost let the dream of making it to the top die. I came up with every excuse of why I could not make it up the mountain, but never once did I give myself a reason why I could. One day as I stared at the mountain and pondered, I realized that if I didn’t make an attempt at this dream all my dreams would eventually die.”
“The next morning, I started my climb. It was not easy, and at times I wanted to quit. But no matter what I faced, I placed one foot in front of the other, keeping a steady pace. When the wind tried to blow me over the edge, I kept walking. When the voices inside my head screamed, stop! I focused on my goal, never letting it out of sight. I kept moving forward. I could not quit because I knew I had come too far to stop now. Time and time again, I reassured myself that I was going to finish this journey. I struggled mightily to make it to the top, but I CLIMBED THE MOUNTAIN.”
“I have to be going,” my friend said. “Tomorrow is a new day to accomplish more dreams. By the way what are you going to do tomorrow?”I looked at him, with intensity and confidence in my eyes, and said, “I HAVE A MOUNTAIN TO CLIMB.”
How often do we let our fear masked in excuses get in the way of going for what we really, really want – the mountain before us? I did this for so long. Today, I am immensely grateful that I had the courage to push past my intense fear and go for it. I am struck by how much I love climbing mountains. And how I’ve learned during the past four years to appreciate the journey and the process just as much as arriving at the destination. Indeed, it is in that process where my growth has occurred.
Four years ago, I never would have imagined that I would seek out new mountains to climb, encourage others to do the same, and enjoy the process so much. For this, and for the all mountains yet to come, I am forever grateful.
This blog is part of my series celebrating and documenting four years since my personal transformation start. You can read related blogs here: