Today’s writing prompt is “Mountain“.
The sight of the word garners so much excitement from me, it’s hard to explain. I have always enjoyed the mountains, and being born and raised in Colorado, it is in my blood. I started hiking in the mountains of Colorado when I was a kid. My dad would take me, my brothers and sisters and sometimes my mom to the mountains for hiking trips. There is so many childhood memories for me that every time I look at a picture of a mountain, I begin to feel a sense of calm like no other. I even remember when I was in kindergarten, and upon completion we had a little graduation ceremony where each of us gave a little speech about what we wanted to be when we grew up: Yes, you guessed it, I wanted to be a mountain climber.
Obviously, I could not make money from doing that (Or rather, that’s what someone must of told me, because Ed Viesturs turned it into an enterprise), so I had to find ways to support myself to do my hobbies (I have another hobby that I have made my life’s endeavor, but allowed my depression to hammer it away…but I will bring it back). Well, in pursuing the almighty dollar (there are many more things – my marriage being another – that have hindered me, but this was certainly important), I realized a few years ago that I stopped doing the things I loved. Growing up in Colorado, we always have the mountains in our backyard, so it’s easy to sometimes take them for granted and I wanted to change that. So, in August of 2012, the year I turned 40 years old, I hiked my first 14er.
Fourteeners (or 14ers) are those peaks that climb above 14,000 feet above sea level. Colorado has between 52-58 of those peaks (This is all depending on who you ask…I never pay that much attention to it all). I was in horrible shape then (worse than I am now) and felt like I was getting older and I needed to change what I was doing. I decided to just go for it and I hiked my first 14er. Mt. Bierstadt, sitting at 14,060′, was exciting for me to try. I knew it was going to be tough for me, since I was out of shape, but I accomplished it (granted, WAY slower than most people). It was kind of a kickstart to getting myself int gear. Since then, I have hiked a 14er each of the last 3 summers (Grays Peak, Mt. Sherman, and Quandary Peak), and I have the hope of getting another one this year.
What this symbolizes to me – and I’m feeling more empowered now by talking about it – is the idea of overcoming my obstacles in life. It’s such a cliché, because overcoming the mountain is symbolic for most people overcoming obstacles, but I needed more than symbolism; I needed manifestation. The manifestation of putting words and thoughts into action. Mountain climbing (or hiking, for me, until I get into better shape for climbing) was going to be my key to recovery. It was my goal to become a new me.
I am so thankful for seeing this prompt today, because it has given me something to think about, something to remember and something to strive towards. It’s given me perspective.
I want to live again!