All of us face many uphill challenges each day, most of them are the annoying kind, traffic, work you dislike or even hate, issues at home, bills to pay, relationship problems and on and on.
These are the somewhat minor but irritating obstacles that we all deal with every day. They are the daily “mountains” we must climb because we choose to live in this challenging and crazy world. Yes, you have chosen to the greatest extent, to live the life you are living. YES you have.
Regardless, these daily challenges test our will and beat us down; preventing us from doing those things we would “really like to do”, like travelling, exploring, listening to good music, reading, enjoying time with family and friends or literally climbing mountains. That’s right, climbing mountains!
Admit it, deep down inside you are somewhat envious of mountain climbers, those men and women who put their lives on the line to summit the great ones, Everest, K2 and Africa’s highest Kilimanjaro. How would it be to stand on one of those peaks and feel the same sense of accomplishment and pride those climbers must feel? Likely it would make you feel like you could do anything.
While most of us will never experience the joy and feelings of success of climbing those famous peaks, we can experience that same sense of accomplishment at lower altitudes. For a lot of people climbing a mountain is just a metaphor for attaining some form of success. But I am talking about you actually climbing a mountain (or hill if that is all you can find) no matter how great or small it may be.
In doing so , you may just prove to yourself, even if it is in just the smallest of ways, that you CAN do it. You can accomplish something. You CAN climb a mountain not just metaphorically but literally.
Trust me, there is a mountain near you and you need to climb it.
Oh, but I live in Kansas you say, there are no mountains in Kansas. Nice try.
Ever hear of Mount Sunflower?
Mount Sunflower is the highest natural point in the state of Kansas. At 4,039 feet , it is 3,300 feet above the state’s topographic low point in southeastern Kansas. Located in Wallace County, it is less than half a mile from the Colorado state border and close to the lowest point in Colorado.
So there! If you can climb a “mountain” in Kansas, you can find a mountain anywhere, maybe in your own back yard. It might just be a hill like Mt. Sunflower, but I challenge you to find it.
After all, it’s not about the size of the mountain; it is about the idea of accomplishing something that matters, even if it is only primarily symbolic. How many people have climbed to the “top” of Mount Sunflower? Not likely many, but that’s not the point.
Wash your Spirit Clean
John Muir said “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean”.
Would summiting Mount Sunflower or some other height wash your spirit clean? Maybe. Will climbing a mountain or hill in your own backyard or a famous mountain peak “keep you close to Natures heart?” It just might, you won’t know until you try it.
The point is, all of us need to break free from the vise like grip of our day to day lives and troubles and challenge ourselves. Climbing a mountain no matter how small or obscure may be the one thing that will help you break the monotony, boredom, and malaise of the life you are living. Think of the experience as a circuit breaker that needs to be reset, clearing your head and opening your mind to the possibilities and wonders that await you.
John Muir also said, “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as the sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”
While climbing a mountain may not totally erase the cares of your world, I can assure you that “nature’s peace will flow into you as the sunshine flows into the trees,” even if it is just for a moment. And that my friend may be enough. So now it’s up to you. Find a mountain somewhere. Hey, even a big hill will do. The point is do it, do it now!
GO! Climb that goddamn Mountain!
Have you had a climbing experience of your own? Tell us about it. Leave a comment.
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