Take That Mountain

I did it! I finally climbed Mt. Sniktau! For those of you who are avid readers you will remember my previous blog, “I tried and lost and that’s Ok” that I wrote after my last Sniktau attempt. In that one I wrote that I couldn’t make it up because of the wind and that it was OK to fail.

What I didn’t tell you was that after that hike and writing that blog I sort of lost my mojo. Plus, I didn’t finish another hike, Mt. Audubon. I said it was the weather and it partly was but really I just didn’t believe I could finish it.

I had made it OK not finish and that was not the goal. My goal was to know the limits but to keep going until those limits. My earlier failures at Sniktau had started to bleed over and I needed a win to change that course.

The trail heading towards Mt. Sniktau

We have all been there right. I’m going to run a mile today. Well maybe a half mile. Well I didn’t make a mile yesterday so maybe I should skip today. Maybe I should take a week off. Maybe I should eat this entire pint (gallon) of ice cream.

I found myself on the wrong side of that teeter totter for the last few weeks. Now, I feel like my legs are back in the air. Wait is that the good side of the teeter totter? I feel like both sides were bad, we had some weird toys growing up.

I started to feel like the mountains were a single opponent that was staring down at me and laughing. I was the little league team taking the field against the Cubs (post 2016 Cubs) and I was beat half the time before I took my first step.

It was almost getting personal. I was choosing easier hikes and enjoying them less. I had built up a ton of confidence for the first few months and then, dispite what I wrote, I had lost a bunch of it.

Well I beat my nemesis mountain and I noticed something extremely profound to someone who had to look up the word profound. I noticed the mountain didn’t really care. The mountain didn’t kneel before me, the mountain didn’t shy away as I looked back up at it from the car.

So I came to the conclusion that my real opponent wasn’t 13,000 feet of shale and granite. It was something much denser…me. I was that opponent I was losing to before stepping on the field.

I totally believe that it is ok to lose but I didn’t follow my own advice. I let my loss dictate my next performance. I let my mind tell me nope before my body did. Trust me, I’m a fat man hiking my body says “no” plenty. I don’t need to let my brain get in the way.

Mt Sniktau in the distance while I am half way to the end.

I guess I only share this for those of you who are going through something like this as well. I think it is really common a few weeks or a month into working out. You start out super stoked to exercise. You see some really great gains right off the bat. If you are like me you flex in the mirror more often than you should and are confused when other people don’t immediately notice that your gut is now 1/100th of a millimeter smaller.

Then you hit that wall. Those weeks where you don’t see the gains. You don’t feel better. You might even take a step back. You can’t get past 2 miles. You can only finish 1 pizza per sitting. Whatever your goals are, they seem further away now, forgetting how far you have come to that point.

All you need is a win. Stick with it. Choose the easier hills to climb and before you know you will be on that peak on the top of your world. And remember that your peak is not the same as someone else’s peak.

Me on the summit of Mt. Sniktau

I had a friend keep wondering why I was so obsessed with climbing Sniktau as it isn’t the sexiest of hikes out there. He didn’t realize that for this stage of my journey, Sniktau was my Everest. Now that I have climbed my Everest my journey can move to the next goal and I can find my next Sniktau.

Each of these goals is stair. Nope stairs are a pain and I want a pain free metaphor. Each of these goals is like a floor on an elevator. You can’t always go from the first floor to the fifth floor. Sometimes you have to stop and let that annoying person talking loudly on their cellphone holding a bag of takeout that is dripping on the floor (but its OK because they have headphones in so I can’t hear right) off on the second floor before you can continue on the journey.

That stop is just a minor detour, albeit annoying, detour on your way to that ultimate goal. I’m sure I have written better metaphors but I hiked Sniktau so am happy for one big win a week and hopefully you are too.

Thanks for following along on my journey, if you are interested in more don’t forget to follow me on the below social media platforms and/or sign up for updates. Happy Hiking!

2 thoughts on “Take That Mountain”

  1. Never had a doubt that you would beat it and glad you can now see it as a little hiccup and no longer a giant obstacle:)

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