“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” – Edmund Hillary
From time to time, everyone needs to find something to do to escape the grind. For my wife and I, we have spent the last couple of decades using hiking as that release. Specifically, we find something to climb. There is something about putting in the work and taking an uphill adventure. The views just seem better after hours of on the trail. After a tough week, it isn’t unusual for my wife to look at me and say, “I need to go climb a mountain somewhere.” We live in an amazing place for these types of hikes. From North Georgia to the Shenandoahs in Virginia, we have a world of opportunities within a day’s drive. More than one could hope to hike in a lifetime!
The view from the summit gives you perspective. After a long hike, in the silence and solitude at the top, the hills and valleys that once stood in the way seem much smaller than they once did at the trailhead. On most hikes, the view from the top is usually the midpoint of our journey. Gravity, momentum, and the sense of accomplishment always make the second half a little easier than the first half. In my experience, trails and trials have a lot in common.
Unfortunately, the trials and troubles of the last few weeks have certainly limited our ability to engage in a number of normal activities. From dining out to planning an outdoor adventure, our activities and opportunities have been significantly reduced. For many of us, the ability to work and produce income has also been cut back. The stress that many of us face is significant. Edmund Hillary, the first man to stand atop Mount Everest, once said, “I think that all mountaineers do get a great deal of satisfaction out of overcoming some challenge which they think is very difficult for them.” In these difficult days, I encourage you to keep climbing. There is something about continuing to put one foot in front of another, clicking off mile after mile. Pushing through the difficulties will make the view from the top of this climb a little bit better because of what we have all gone through. And… we will be better because of what we have endured.