This last month Dave and I did THE hardest thing we’ve ever done by a factor of 100. When we signed up for 29029 Everesting (PS - no this isn’t an ad, we paid full price for this experience) we were excited for a new challenge together after a decade of running half marathons as a couple. We knew it would be hard— but no one, literally NO ONE who hasn’t done this can even fathom. The idea is that you have 36 hours climb a mountain 13 times and if you can do it, you’ve climbed the equivalent of Everest. I remember thinking we’d climb for a bit the first day, go to sleep Friday night and then finish up on Saturday. Bless.
It took us 35 HOURS to finish. We slept (and I use that term generously) for four hours (from 3 AM - 7 AM) and immediately went back to climbing. For 29 hours we climbed. In 90 degree heat we climbed. Throughout the freezing night we climbed with headlamps. It was awful. It was SO hard to keep going. Getting to the bottom of the mountain and knowing you had to start right back up was soul destroying. Soul. Destroying.
So why do it? Why put your body and mind through something so terrible? Because we finished. Because we overcame our fear. Because when pushed up against doubt and pain and physical limitations we FOUND A WAY. And more so? We did it TOGETHER. For the rest of my life I’ll store this memory up and tap into whenever I need strength. I DID THAT. I took one step, then another. I hiked 30 miles straight up a steep incline and here’s my big takeaway: you can traverse ANY distance, you can achieve ANY goal no matter how impossible it seems if you don’t care how long it takes you. Our first climb took an hour and ten. Our 9th climb (at 1AM) took nearly 3 hours. But time wasn’t our focus, reaching the summit was.
YOUR goal might take you years but you can achieve it, same as our mountain top, if you put your head down, don’t pay attention to anyone else’s climb, put one foot in front of the other and KEEP GOING. You’ve got this friend. You CAN summit YOUR mountain. Keep going.