It's Not a Race to the Top. It's Just To The Top.

I recently completed my first 14er. Actually two in one day. (That's me and my friend Kim at the Summit of Gray's.) For those of you who don't happen to know this term...that's climbing a 14,000 peak. It's a pretty major accomplishment for this non-athletic asthmatic. By the way--this was one of my goals for 2010. Don't worry I'm not going to make this one of those posts where I make some big analogy about how this is like business.  (Finding your own correlations will be more fun.) I'll simply tell you a bit about what I learned that might be useful for you if you're going to attempt a 14er yourself.

The Philosophical Mama nature takes it seriously and so should you. Be the little train that could. Believe. Bring a friend who knows how much to push you. And, when to back down. Make a mantra. Mine was counting to ten and then breathing. This will help you focus when it gets really hard. Go at your own pace. The Practical

Cover ye head. Sunscreen it up. Two words: Eat. Drink. Altitude helpers: Carbs & Yarrow. Beware long toenails. Layers and layers. And...

Listen to the experts.

Listen to the experts.

Listen to the experts.

Two Biggest Take-aways One. Go at your own pace. Don't worry about how the "Jones'" were doing or how fast they were going. Many of the people who initially passed us ended up not making it to the top because they didn't figure out a consistent pace.

Two. Dream big. Beyond the physical accomplishment I realized that I need to dream BIG in all parts of my life. That I underestimate what I'm capable of doing. Not any more.

Thanks to everyone who helped me reach my goal:

Amy Christensen who took me on a kick-ass training hike and helped me create a training plan.

Jason Mendelson who helped me pick the right first summit and gave me valuable tips (some of which are included above).

Kim Curtis who took the climb with me and was a great person with whom to share my first summit.