Wednesday Wellness: Getting to the Top is Optional, Getting Down is Mandatory!

Recently I read the book, No Shortcuts to the Top, by Ed Viesturs, one of a handful of humans to climb the highest 14 peaks above 8,000 meters (approximately 29,000 feet) and he did it without the use of oxygen tanks.  Currently, he’s a world renowned motivational speaker.  I love to backpack, however I have never been a Mountaineer!  I was memorized!  No, I have NO desire to climb Mt. Everest (ok, maybe to base camp!) however reading his biography of what he and others have endured was quite inspiring! He was there during the Everest tragedy several years ago, and has witnessed several deaths.  Yet, throughout his quest, he had a motto which he feels kept him alive “Getting to the top is optional, getting down is mandatory!

He always trusted his gut and never let the excitement of reaching the peak override his sensibility and safety.

Through this 18 year journey, he finally completed the 14th peak, Annapurna (which he had attempted a few time prior during this vigil).  Once he completed his lifetime dream, he questioned what was next.  He had reached his summit so to speak.  He always had a “peak” to achieve and at the time of accomplishment…he no longer had a summit…a goal, a purpose or a lifelong quest!

This got me thinking as to what my summit was (or is).  I always have goals, challenges, monthly routines…but it has been a while since I have set my eyes on a true summit and started the long arduous yet rewarding climb to the top!

We get in to our day to day mindset, day after day year after year and rather than reaching the top of a mountain, we traverse, back and forth, sometimes up a little, sometimes down.  Life, however is a journey as they say, not a destination, but what if during that journey we created a quest that we are always able to keep our sights on even when the mountain seems too stormy to climb?

I challenge you this week, as I challenge myself, to create your own summit to keep your eyes on during life’s daunting moments.  Search out the right route, the one which will get you there with safety (I didn’t say ease) but also the route which will get you back down the mountain…because that is mandatory!