Written by Beau DeCourcy
“It’s not the mountain we conquer-but ourselves.”- Sir Edmund Hillary
If you know me even a little, or have been reading the blog, it probably has become rather obvious that I am an avid hiker, climber and mountaineer. Climbing has made me a better person. Period. That’s why I do it. And I would sincerely suggest you try it also.
Allow me to explain why…
I have experienced the numerous benefits of hiking and climbing and have seen the same in those who have hiked and climbed along side me. I cannot be certain of the specific reason for this. When you think about it, climbing can be dangerous, painful and scary. It will make you too cold, sometimes too hot. Muscle soreness, blisters, bumps and bruises can linger for days; yet every time I say I am going for a hike or climb, people ask to join me, again and again.
For a person like me, who has become more adapted to the cold, heat, heights and soreness; climbing seems like a reasonable hobby. But I have guided others, who were admittedly reluctant and fearful of the climbing process, and not one of them regrets their experience; rather they seem very grateful to me for bringing them along. Why is this?
While I’d like to believe it’s because my fellow climbers enjoy my company so much they tolerate their discomfort, I know this is most likely not the case. It’s more likely that through some simple guidance, they embrace the climb more playfully, in relative safety, while also pushing their edges of comfort. This is an experience most are missing out on; an experience you will not find in any gym, classroom or movie theater.
Your edges of comfort offer you the perspective necessary for living better. They make the small nagging stressors that collect in your thoughts laughable in comparison. Climbing delivers you to both that literal and metaphorical edge.
When climbing or hiking I encourage people to enjoy the whole process and to let the mountain become a guide rather than a trophy. I speak of mountains I’ve climbed in the past as life lessons and not victories. These are lessons that would not have been realized without the climb and they have become metaphors for life to me. Pain, pride, fear, success and sometimes failure appear in every challenging climb.
When everything in your life is so safe, so normal that you day dream of doing something a little risky just to feel powerful and alive again: climb something.
If you’re interested in joining Aaron and I for a future hike, please let us know. Contact us here with any questions or comments you may have. We enjoy your feedback and look forward to connecting more with our readers.