Give Them a Mountain to Climb

I’m thoroughly embarrassed as to the paltry state that my blog is in… Other than looking it up, I couldn’t remember the title of the last post. I’ve been busy – I don’t know what else to tell you. The great news is that Friday is, yet again, upon us!

I recently participated in my 4th Reno Tahoe Odyssey, the ridiculously long, 178 mile relay where no one gets any sleep and by the time you run your third (or fourth) leg of the journey, you’re delirious and exhausted. Never a dull moment.  It was fun and everyone crushed their legs (literally and figuratively) over the 19 hours we were trapped in a van.

The great thing about being on a team with a unified goal is that you work together to crush the opposition, in this case, gnarly mountains and scorching calf and quad muscles. Every time one of our team (The Flaming Bunnies of Doom) blazed past a blinking headlamp of an opposing team in the dark of the night, the van went nuts. We passed so many people that we lost count and that simple fact gave us more energy to press on!

It’s amazing what can happen when you rally at the base of a mountain…

A friend recently participated in a company event attempting to determine their future in an ever reddening ocean (read Blue Ocean Strategy if you don’t know what I’m talking about. I’m all about making competition irrelevant). The greatest inspiration that she took away from the event wasn’t a great idea from an executive, and it wasn’t the next iPhone drawn on the back of a napkin, it was something as simple as having a unified, aligned vision of how to tackle the next great mountain in front of them, departmentally and as a company. For some, going to work and having “things” to do is all they need to stay motivated to do a menial job.

For me, I need that peak. McKinley, Whitney, and Rainier are all massive testaments to a challenge worthy of pursuit. They dwarf mankind and contentiously remind us how puny and insignificant we are. They dare us to tackle them!

Living without a mountain to climb is like life without tacos – soooooo depressing! Mountains are nothing new to me. I climb them literally. I plow through them with my IRONMAN training. I even trek onwards and over them in my personal life. Mountains are as integral to my life as my dog is. I just don’t know how I would find motivation or reach moments of fulfillment without them…

Sure, mountains are scary, but all the more reason to do homework. Prepare, prepare, prepare, and then prepare some more! Get the right equipment, gather your tools, and take that first big step out the door.

Wayna Picchu

A lack of mountains in one’s life leads to tedium, which leads to staleness, lack of adventure, and overall dissatisfaction with life. I’d rather be on the edge of my seat constantly than laying back in a comfy lounge chair. If we are what we eat, then we definitely are what our goals make us. Goals that were impossible five years ago should be common place now, and goals or experiences that seem dreadful now can be achieved in the next decade.

President John F. Kennedy said it best: “Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.”

Stronger we shall be.

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