Today’s blog is born from last week’s hike on one of the Mountains just North of where I live. The mountain is called Lone Peak and is one of the most challenging summits of the eighteen Wasatch Peaks over 11,000’ in Utah.
Psst…I’ve never been one to get excited about climbing a tall peak. Especially one that requires a class 4 scramble at the top.
I consider myself to be a casual hiker, 3-6 miles on average…the kind that I can do in a morning and still be coherent in the afternoon. The short story of why I decided to hike THIS particular peak is this…to test my endurance. I have two crazy friends who enthusiastically agreed to go with me.
The morning of the hike my stomach was in knots. I’ve looked at this massive peak from my bedroom window for the past 16 years and never once had an ounce of desire that I should be on top of its bouldered peak. This was going to be epic. And it would test me in ways I couldn’t imagine.
At 6 miles up, while navigating the winding narrow path along the northwest ridge before ascending the last 400 yards to the summit, I stopped. I was soooo done. Emotionally and mentally spent from the vigilant focus required to step one foot in front of the other up the steep slope and not freak out about the drop-offs on either side was really getting to me. Not to mention the physical exertion required to get there. All I really wanted to do was to stay put and watch as my comrades scaled the boulders to the top. (A top about the size of my front porch with 200-500 foot drop-offs.)
It was here, nearly 11,000 feet high with no obstructing views to my left or right, that I had an epiphany. The view was breathtaking.
I wasn’t witnessing this view from a picture or Facebook or a painting or through a story told by one who has seen it…but for myself. Humbling. Overwhelming. I couldn’t help but shed tears of emotion at the sight (probably from the exhaustion too) and for the beauty of the earth. It was GRAND!
It is one of the hardest climbs I’ve ever done. (Yes, I did finally make it to the very tippy-top with some gentle coxing from a friend.)
What I realized in that moment is this…
Real transformation happens only when you put your best foot forward…when you see things through to the end. Transformation requires that we gain REAL experience…to put ourselves out on a limb and then take action, step by step, to reach our dreams. Supportive friends help get us through it!
You can talk about doing hard things or watch others as they do hard things or wonder why people do hard things in the first place.
But you only really KNOW the WHY when you experience it for yourself.
What is your mountain to climb?
Do you have moments when the busy-ness of life falls away and what is left is a moment that takes your breath away? This is transformation. You FEEL it and it cannot be undone, and you are changed forever in that moment.
It’s real change taking place one breath and one step at a time.
What challenges take you to your highest peak? Please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!