Do you know what really grinds my gears? Seeing a car with this bumper sticker.
Why? Because I don’t get the big deal. What accomplishment is it to sit in your car and drive to the summit of the mountain when dozens of hikers, standing with you on the summit, have used their legs to accomplish the same feat? In my humble opinion a mountain summit is something that must be earned. There is no bumper sticker that says “These Legs Climbed Mt. Washington”, although there is a t-shirt that says “This Body Climbed Mt. Washington”. I must admit, I am a proud owner of the latter. Mt. Washington was the first summit I’d ever bagged, but you don’t see me rocking that t-shirt every day of the week.
Having made it to the top, I know from first hand experience that the hike is in no way a trivial or leisurely stroll. There is a baseline of general fitness required, not just to handle the terrain, but having the endurance to get up – and then back down – the mountain in one day. Somehow we always seem to forget about the hike down…
There is something very magical about standing on the summit of a mountain – something that everyone should experience. But, just because you aren’t in shape to hike to the summit right now, doesn’t mean you should hop in your car, drive up there, snap a few pics to say, “Hey, I was here!” just to check it off the bucket list. Where is the satisfaction in that?
So, instead of celebrating your ability to press a gas pedal, get out there and do something really worth boasting about! Choose to earn the summit under your own power and tell everyone you know. Get moving and build a support system that will give you the push you need to get moving on days you would have rather stayed at home on the couch. Remember, anything worth doing is worth doing right. Go out there and get the real thing. Don’t just settle for a ride and a bumper sticker.
Read more about building SMART Goals here.
And, for those for who feel hiking to the summit is just not enough. May I suggest the Mt. Washington Road Race. This 7.6 mile run along the paved access road boasts, “Relax, it’s only one hill!” A good friend of ours, Vlad, is about to tackle this race for the second time this coming weekend. When Evan and I joined him for a training run up Wachusett Mountain last weekend, we got a taste of what that race might be like. All I can say is – shufflin’, shufflin’. With a 12% average grade, and a 22% grade for the last 50 yards to the finish, this is not a race for the faint of heart. Few people are willing to put their head down and grind it out that way you have to in order to run up a mountain. Those who choose to earn the summit this way, you’ve got my respect! Good luck, Vlad…we’ll be cheering for you!