Having Great Health Doesn’t Have to be an Insurmountable Mountain to Climb

My aunt and uncle live in beautiful British Columbia, not too far from Finlayson Mountain. One beautiful sunny day they took me there for a nice long hike. The loop is about 6 km up the mountain on a nicely paved path. As we were climbing the mountain my uncle shared a story with me that I’ll never forget.

He said that when he was in his “much younger days”, he challenged himself to climb the mountain every day at 6 am. Although physically fit, the mountain was a challenge for him. He would start at the base and look up at the climb and some days it seemed impossible. The path was not paved, the weather was unpredictable, and he never knew what wild animal he may encounter. Yet, he was determined to meet the challenge of climbing it every day for a month. So that he did, and he admitted that some days were easier than others.

Every day he struggled his way up this mountain. In the beginning he had a hard time breathing. He decided his shoes were not right for the terrain. Sometimes he was under prepared as he would run out of water. On a few occasions he would give up half way and turn around. Some days his energy was low, and he was tired and wished he had never challenged himself to the daunting task.

Every day at the same time there was an old woman probably in her late 70’s that walked the same path and every day she was finished the trek in half the amount of time and my uncle was confused by this. So, one day my uncle stopped to talk to the woman and asked her the secret to climbing the mountain in record time. The woman laughed and said, “Son. I don’t think about climbing the mountain. I just climb the mountain. One foot in front of the other.”

My uncle thought about this and realized when he was climbing the mountain, he would think about doing it in less time. He would think about how hard it was going to be and how unstable the terrain was. He would think about what he had to do that day and how out of breath he was. He made the climb seem insurmountable. He compared his journey to the old man often wondering what he was doing wrong.

Taking on our health and our life seems like an insurmountable mountain to climb. We think about our past mistakes, what didn’t work, how hard it is. How we are never going to reach our goal and most of us don’t. We quit because we think it’s too hard. It’s too much work.

We can take a lesson from the old woman and focus not on the mountain to climb but taking one step forward each day. Put your focus on moving one step forward and watch how easy the process will become. It’s a mindset shift that will help you make it through each day. Nobody said you had to make the climb in record time. Time is yours. All you must do is begin.

Having a coach in your corner sets you up for inevitable success. You take small action steps each week to help you to get to your goal. You learn to shift your mindset from how hard it is to how fun it can be. After all, who wouldn’t want to feel more energy, have more clarity and focus and live a life worth climbing for!

Tina Brigley Authentic Leadership Coach