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Climb the Mountain


"If you don't climb the mountain, you can't see the view"

Climb the Mountain


A 3.6 mile hike, up Tiger Mountain, didn't seem that challenging. But I hadn't taken into consideration the 1650 ft gradient of the mountain, as we don't have them where I'm from. But the challenge was laid down, and up that mountain I was going.

The day started out as most days in Washington do, dreary and wet. But that didn't stop us fulfilling our plans. The lushness of the trail mesmerized me as we began our trek. Moss laden trees grew out from everywhere; foliage as big as my head loomed all around me. It was a green feast for the eyes. I was fascinated. It took my breath away. Literally.

As the lushness made way for a more rocky terrain, I noticed myself getting winded faster. The trail began a steeper assent, and I began to second and third guess my determination to make it up the mountain that day.

We rested several time along that path. We debated each time about returning back down. But each time I started to waiver, something deep within me would rise up, and a new wave of determination would overcome my objections. I wanted to reach the top of that mountain. I needed to stand on top of that mountain.

So despite my tired leg muscles, and my shortness of breathe, I pushed my body up that mountain trail. Now I wasn't lacking common sense either - I wasn't crawling up with pulled muscles in a blizzard or any nonsense like that. I was just completely out of shape and out of condition for climbing in 1650 ft elevation, up a mountain. I didn't train for this, didn't have a lot of experience, or anything like that. So I wasn't putting myself in any real physical danger, other than sore muscles and heavy breathing later. I would have called it quits at any point in time up that trail.

And almost did, twice actually. But I didn't want to say I didn't give it my all and reach the top. Besides, I wanted photographs of the views from the top. Mt. Rainier can be seen sometimes from Tiger Mountain, and if she was going to make an appearance, I wanted to capture her! I wasn't going to let my out-of-shape body hold me back from what I set out to do.

And I was not disappointed when we reached the top either. It was breath-taking. As I stood there, looking down upon the Issaquah valley, and saw Mt. Rainier staring at us, I was taken away at the vastness of it all. It made me stand in awe and squeal with delight, all at the same time! And to think, I might have missed this moment, if I hadn't continued my pursuit, and had instead, turned back down the mountain at one of my rest stops.

Isn't life like that? We set a goal, or a challenge has been laid before us. At first it seems inviting, enchanting, charmingly easy. Then, as we get further into things, the footing shifts, the ground changes, and things begin to get a little tougher. We may need to rest and rethink a time or two. We may be tempted to turn around, and save the trip for another day. But it's in those moments that we must dig deep down, and visualize the view from the top. Because it is worth it. Once I was looking from the top down on that mountain, all the exertion and tiredness melted away. The conquering feelings completely outweighed everything else. I did it! I overcame and succeeded! I got what I set out to do! And there isn't anything else that can compare to that moment.

So, wherever you are in the journey, take heart. Rest as often as you need. Catch your breath. Get some water. Stretch those muscles. And then, get moving again up that path. Watch your step, the terrain might get rough. But remember, the view will be worth it all. You can do it! And the reward will be incredible, just you wait and see!

Photo taken with iPhone 4, October 2014, Issaquah, Washington.
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