6 Life Lessons I Learned Climbing a Mountain
And, the bigger education on the descent
This past weekend my family climbed a mountain. It may have been the Akers family Everest. My husband and I, along with our two daughters, ages 11 and 5 learned a lot about each other and our relationships. We learned about each other’s strengths and weaknesses and how to work together even when we were fed up. No man was left behind and everyone climbed more than 12,000 feet to the top of that mountain. We each found success in a different way and learned life lessons along the way.
Are you gonna go my way?
Come on and I’ll show you how we did it. And, there’s a gift for you if you read all the way to the end.
There’s a fire on the mountain
We crave outdoor adventure. The girls are antsier than usual and we wanted to let them get the wiggles out, plus everyone aches to be outside. The sun spills its warmth of golden rays on us and the rocks about the base of the mountain. The girls bounce out of the car and jump from rock to rock. Before long before they were part way up the mountain and they had an all-consuming fire to climb.
There’s a fire on the mountain.
“There’s a dragon with matches that’s loose on the town
Takes a whole pail of water just to cool him down”.
The girls are on fire. A pail of water will sizzle on contact. They burn brightly. Nothing will stand in their way, not even the 12,000 feet to the top. This mom, however, is scared of heights. About halfway up I get anxious because I can see how high we are.
Fall up? How do you fall up? My husband said, “fall up”. The girls make it their mantra. “Just fall up, Mom. You don’t want to fall down”. They were right. No one wants to fall down the mountain. Once that motion begins there’s no telling where you’ll end up, or in what kind of condition. It’s like a snowball gaining speed and momentum rolling downhill. When the rocks under your feet giveaway you shift your balance and throw your center of gravity toward your goal. In this case, I want to fall up the mountain. It’s good advice and it’s worth a tweet.'Fall up the mountain'-Akers girlsClick To Tweet
Just past the halfway point, the mountain becomes steep and I fall a lot. I learn something else.
A pine needle can make you bleed
You’ve probably replaced a button on a piece of clothing. If you’ve ever missed the button and jabbed the needle into your finger you get the idea. It’s a sharp pain and it’s temporary. A pine needle pricks like a sewing needle. It will make you bleed too. It stings for a minute and it’s minor. Wipe off the blood and keep going. The road to success is filled with pine needles and a minor pain won’t hold you back unless you let it.
At the back of the pack, I was starting to get a little blue. A little like the Cumberland Blues:
Everyone picks up their pace when my husband said, “I see the top”! I hear my heartbeat in my ears. It doesn’t matter how tall this mountain is…I am going to climb it. My newfound energy helps me catch up and we reach the top.
Here we are enjoying our success on the mountaintop. The hard part is over now we just have to descend the mountain. We all begin the decline. I gain more confidence with each step because every step gets me closer to the bottom, to safety. The opposite is true for my oldest. She could not see how high she climbed on the way up, but on the way down she can see how far she has to fall and the fear paralyzes her. She has a freak-out moment and we remind her, there’s no crying on the mountain, Sweetie.
The best thing when the terrain moves under your feet is to spread out your weight. It’s similar to being on a frozen pond. If you hear the ice start to crack get low, spread out your weight and move gracefully. The same is true on the mountain. When your footing gives way you fall up and spread out your weight.
“Fall up, Sweetie. You don’t want to fall down the mountain”. No wild rides down the mountain. The one who gets there with speed is the loser, likely hurt…nothing to gain in that. Take your time.
The youngest and I reach the bottom first and my husband and oldest daughter take their time.
Look to your goals, not your failures
Anyone can fail if they don’t learn on the way to achieving their goals. We all have a goal to climb that mountain. Each of us stumbles and falls on the way to the top. No one has a certainty of success and we want to succeed.'Look to your goals, not your failures'-K. AkersClick To Tweet
Look forward and look to your dreams
That’s wisdom from my 5-year old who believes you can do anything if you believe in your heart and follow your dreams. Don’t look down, it might scare you. Look up. Just look forward to your goals and your dreams because anything is possible.'Believe in your heart. Follow your dreams'-C. AkersClick To Tweet
The pace doesn’t matter. Everyone succeeds. We celebrate with lunch and refreshment. As we sit on the rocks we see gorgeous golden aspens and everyone contributes to this poem, published on P.S. I Love You. It is a bonus life lesson: the family that writes together stays together.
Love the bright blue sky
Reaching into Fall
Rough tall legs
Standing straight and proud
Bonding family life
We notice we’re a stone’s throw from the town of Agua Fria, so we head off in pursuit of the town Mr. Johnny Cash sings about here.
Morning rock sessions in the car on the way to school include Mr. Cash (and Metallica, and others). Since we are this close, we have to visit Agua Fria, the town we sing about. It’s all about creating memories.
Suck up the memories
The journey is different for everyone. Enjoy it. Like my oldest says…
The groove to success is different for everyone and the arrival is sweet.
This is really awesome!
Tell us your plan for success in the comments.
Before you go get your climbing the mountain groove. The complete playlist is your free gift.