One might think that the reward of running up a mountain lies at the peak, at the top, after you have pushed through and can look back on how far you have come.
While I did enjoy that moment of glory, up at the top, it did not compare to the rewards received coming back down, descending into the valley. That experience, coming back down, was great! It was fulfilling and it surprised me.
The wind on my face, the ease in my breath, and the speed in my step. I couldn’t believe how fast I was going, without getting winded. I was having so much fun racing down that hill, and I recognized it was the strength and endurance built going up, that made the experience coming down possible.
It got me thinking about the stages of climbing mountains, the mountains of life. Each stage creates a different experience, a different challenge, some harder than others. Each stage requires something different out of us and each stage produces something notable in us.
Stage 1- At the base of the mountain- looking up, deciding whether or not we want to climb up. A decision has to be made. Courage, resolve, and action are required. Sometimes we see the mountain and think it’s too big. We can’t do it, but we will never know unless we try.
Stage 2- Climbing up the mountain- where’s there’s resistance, exhaustion, pain, and doubt. We wonder, “Will I ever reach the top? How much farther must I go? When will this end?” Steadfastness is needed. Endurance is produced as we put one foot in front of the other, trusting that we will reach the top.
Stage 3- At the top of the mountain- There’s relief! “I made it!” We have a whole new perspective. The view is amazing and we feel accomplished! It takes some stillness and appreciation to enjoy and soak in this moment.
Stage 4- Stepping off the peak- We cannot stay at the top forever and besides, the peak is too small. It’s not meant for us to settle in there. We have other mountains to climb. Stepping off takes some letting go. It’s time to move on.
Stage 5- Coming down the mountain- This is what I remembered from my run. It’s a much easier trek, coming down, than climbing up, but we must watch our step, as gravity pulls us down. The speed can be fun, but it can also be a danger. Quick feet, skill, and focus are a must.
Stage 6- Back at the base- Time to head home or out to find a new mountain. We must replenish ourselves, get some rest, and find our way, to the next base.
At any given moment, in any project or season of life, we can connect in and realize that we are in one of these stages. It helps to recognize what stage we are in and remember, we won’t be in this stage forever. We must apply the proper strategy for each stage and notice what is being produced in us.
So, where are you? What mountain are you on? What is it’s name? Is it parenting? Is it a position at work? Is it planning a trip? Is changing careers? Moving?
What stage are you in, in climbing your mountain? And what skills are needed for that stage?
No matter what stage you are in, remember, YOU are the climber. This is YOUR mountain and YOU CAN DO IT! If it’s hard and there’s a lot of resistance, just know, you are going up. Soon you will be at the top, looking down at how far you have come and soon you will be speeding down that mountain with ease.
Have an awesome week, climbing mountains and chasing dreams!
With Love and Volition,