Musings on Mountains

Mountains, you are home, wherever you may reside. Here I am, in a small refugio in the Picos de Europa in Spain. It’s raining, but that’s ok. There’s 3 men working here, and there will be a total of 3 of us visitors here tonight. Javi is playing DJ and has gone from Pink Floyd to Fleetwood Mac to Joan Jett. During a brief pause Dani picked up a guitar and started playing Hurt, not sure if he was going for the Nine Inch Nails or Johnny Cash version. Now I’m watching him through the window, playing fetch with Yogi the dog. Have I mentioned that he’s a dreamy long haired bearded spaniard who’s passionate about backcountry skiing and has great english? You’re a good one Universe.

I had a revelation today: life is like hiking mountains, in so many ways (ok so that sounds entirely cliche but stick with me). Your goals in life are like the summits. You’ve got choices on how you want to get there. Typically if I have two choices in routes, one much steeper than the other, I’ll take that one because “I like a challenge”… when really I will often enjoy the journey more if I take the clearer, more manageable path and can look around and enjoy the view and the company along the way. Plenty of times it takes the same amount of time or less on the clearer less challenging path because there are less obstacles to trip you up, you’re less likely to exhaust yourself in the process therefore enjoying the summit more, and frankly anytime you’re enjoying yourself you tend to accomplish more. It probably comes with the mindset too of feeling like I have something to prove, but with this new mindset of making myself happy and clearing space in my mind, I’m losing that drive to prove something and am more happy when I’m present.

Hiking is all about taking one step at a time. You may lose your path, but if you stop, take a look around, retrace your steps and even ask for help you can likely find your way back on track. But if you push on ahead in hopes that you’ll magically get there, chances are you’ve wasted your time and will eventually have to turn around (or be lost and lose a toe to frostbite or get eaten by wolves). Sometimes you may even have to turn back from your summit, and in the moment it is a disappointment, but the repercussions of pushing on ahead are much higher. But no matter where you go, where you end up or how you get there, the view sure is beautiful.

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