Mountain climbing is not high on my skills list, but it attests to my appreciation of the simplest of things after working hard to reach the peak. Sometimes those mountains are placed in our lives to prove a point. I have said previously that a walk within the woods can change the soul, but a climb up a mountain can change the mind. Conquering a mountain fuels the ultimate drive to reach the top of any of life’s mountains.
I came to this realization during and after my first mountain climbing experience. During a school trip to Phoenix, Arizona, we had a free day to do whatever. It was suggested that we go hiking. I thought it would be fun, but my idea of hiking was drastically different from the reality of this. To me, hiking was walking on a (flat) dirt trail in the middle of the woods. Not thinking about my location’s climate and terrain, compared to my home of Michigan’s, I blindly agreed to an awakening.
Our day to go ‘hiking’ came, and I was shocked. Camelback Mountain was the furthest thing from what I was picturing in my mind. Still not sure about my agreement, I started up the side of the mountain, new shoes and all. The time spent going up was horrifying to me, and not having guard rails between me and a long fall to my death was less than comforting. I kept telling myself to take it one step at a time and rock by rock.
Slowly, but surely, I made my way to the top of Camelback. I was so happy to be at the peak; I felt like I was on top of the world. The view was spectacular. Being able to have a small picnic at the top with my friends and a chance to take the whole experience in was amazing. Although my skepticism almost made me miss this vantage point, I would not want to trade this day for the world.
What goes up must come down. The time came to scale our way back to flat land, and during this time, I had the opportunity to reflect and talk with my professor, who took us on this trip. She pushed me to a point that I had no option but to make it happen and proved to me a huge appreciation for the unimaginable. A mountain was the last place I thought I would find myself being in Phoenix, and I surely did not think I would be high in the sky seeing such a unique perspective of a beautiful city. In an instant, I had fallen in love with a city I had just met.
The climb showed me I can conquer fears and that a fresh perspective can be the ounce of clarity that is needed in life. It also brought out a beastly appetite, so our group unanimously voted to finally get the tacos we had been begging for all week. Tacos aside, climbing Camelback Mountain brought out the best in me and revealed a picture perfect lesson: climb a mountain, reach the top, and look at life as a picture.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2016