Until you face a climb yourself, you can never fully understand what it takes.
There it is…Mount Everest from the air. Each year, about 150-200 climbers attempt to reach its summit, 29,029 feet above sea level. There are thousands of other mountain peaks in the world, but Everest is the highest, and most challenging. Of course, from this angle it looks pretty tame.
That’s the thing about mountains. Perspective is everything. Until you face a climb yourself, you can never fully understand what it takes. Watching others make the climb, or hearing their stories about what it was like, are no substitute for taking on the climb for yourself.
Look around you. If you look closely, you’ll see that each of us are climbing a mountain. Some mountains are short and easy, while others are as high or higher than our friend, Mr. Everest.
This is the point where I could wax on poetically about striving for the highest peaks in life, chasing ever higher summits, new vistas, and new challenges. Yes, do all of that. Don’t let anyone stop you…especially yourself.
No, I’m not going to talk about the standard, inspirational mountain stuff. Instead, I’m going to talk about weight.
When embarking on a climb, is it better to carry twenty pounds, fifty pounds, or one-hundred pounds of gear on your back? Obviously, all things being equal, less weight is better. Gravity is not your friend.
How much weight are you carrying on your climb? Only the essentials? Anything extra? Are you carrying baggage that won’t be used? Why? Carrying all that extra baggage isn’t helping you reach your summit.
What about your fellow climbers, especially those closest to you? How much extra baggage are they carrying? How much of it is yours?
The best strategy for extra baggage (and its unnecessary weight) is to avoid packing it in the first place.
Photo Credit: Alan Arora, who owes me some details on how he was able to be in the cockpit jump seat of an Airbus A319 at the perfect time to capture such a beautiful shot of Mount Everest.