On Mountains and Mantras

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It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves. Sir Edmund Hilary

I spent last week at an average of 10,000 feet elevation. For a girl from the flat Midwest, there is something about mountains that blows me away. My husband and I joined friends for a some skiing and relaxing in the Rockies and for the entire 5 days, a majority of what came out of my mouth wasn’t so much words but gasps of “they’re so beautiful! And big!” I didn’t get over how grand and gorgeous they were, not for a single second.

Mountain beauty aside, I hadn’t skied in 6 years. Going up the gondola for our first run, all I could think was that this was a terrible idea. These were the Rocky Mountains. This was 12,000 feet. This was not at all like anything I had ever skied before. This was a terrible idea. I could break something, hit a tree, this was a terrible idea. I was silent the entire way; I got off the gondola without falling (win #1 right there!) and…I skied down the hill. All 3 ½ miles of it. I loved those mountains even more when I was on them and it turned out to not be such a terrible idea after all. It was a pretty outstanding idea, in fact.

That ride up and back down again was really a metaphor for my 2015 mantra: Don’t Be a Wuss. Now, I know that most New Year’s resolutions are inspiring and about what you are doing instead of not doing but this year, I am not going to be a wuss. 2014 was a blessing, a truly wonderful year and when I think about where I want my life to continue to go, what holds me back is me. I don’t always ask for what I want, I take responsibility for things that are not mine to own, I second guess way too often, I apologize profusely when people bump into me for pete’s sake. Now, there’s common courtesy but then there is apologizing for occupying space on a sidewalk. And that’s what I am getting at: take up space, man. Don’t apologize for existing or for achieving or for going after what you want. Trust your gut, always, and don’t make yourself wrong as a default mode. Be bold and take up space and declare who it is you are because if you don’t, who will?

Aka, don’t be a wuss. Go up the mountain because getting back down is absolutely possible.

So cheers to 2015, a big, bold, bright year if I’ve ever seen one.

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