So this idea of CouragEndures started with the pure desire to promote individuals acts of courage.
“To recognize and promote those who exhibit or are in need of courage as a foundation to face any and all of life’s challenges and to do so in the pursuit of health and happiness for the mind, body and soul.”
This is part of my story -
As I was hiking up this mountain in snow shoes, 5 miles, 2150 feet of elevation gain and ascending to 11,200 feet. I couldn’t help but think about questions that Sarah had text to me to ask myself:
- John, How do you feel? Thats a funny question, I’m nervous, I’m excited and I’m scared but somewhere in all of that I’m confident that I have done the physical training to do it. But have I done the mental work? well thats an unknown for sure. I’m resigned to the idea that this is part of “MY PLAN” to achieve an optimal life for me. So I start up the mountain, I realize that I like hiking up mountains because I become singularly focused on what I have to do, life is not pulling at peripheral vision. The only thing I have to solve is how I’m getting up this mountain. Well I’m going to put one foot on front of the other, thats how. So I start doing it! I feel pretty good for the first 2.5miles. I feel "not as good" for the rest of the way up….. up and up! Its gets steeper and steeper, around 10,300 I start counting steps before I can take my next rest(and I’m checking my heart rate as well) 1,2,3,4 steps…….45, 46, 47, 48, 49 and 50 steps….REST! I’m always listening intently to my body, to my heart, to my legs and to my lungs always checking in with them. I also always take a moment to take look where I have been and where I’m headed but most importantly I see and feel the earth’s beauty and power all around me. I also remember my goal! JHB’s Goal to ascend to a place that I have never been before and to grab ahold of the opportunity to achieve my goal and its totally up to me. SO HELLO PETER ESTIN HUT…11,200 feet.
"1,2,3,4 steps…….45, 46, 47, 48, 49 and 50 steps….REST!"
The Move to the Top
It was asked of me, 'JB What is going through your mind while heading up?' For starters I’m always checking watching my heart monitor. My mind is asking me questions about my body. My body quickly answers me by reminding me that 'JB you have a blister on our heel, the size of a half dollar, you idiot!', or 'I wonder what this is doing to my blood sugar?' and even, 'JB, have you eaten enough?' If my Blood Sugars are to high will it kill me on the spot (this question might be the altitude). I know that is a little bit extreme but I’m climbing a mountain in the snow, so that's “extreme” ha! I haven’t even got to my damaged heart yet, So I check in with it, heart beats are strong and steady (via my SUUNTO WATCH). I can do this, I remember that 'Fuck-N-A' is an affirmation. My mind drifts and I’m thinking about my mother and brothers, I’m thinking about what it would be like to be living in the Scottish highlands and I would have to do this everyday., minus the snowshoes… I can’t help but verbally say out loud “there can only be one” I of course smile at that! Finally see the top, but Shit…there is about a .2 miles of straight up climb…I realize that I’m still strong, tired but strong, so I take a step and start the step count again. HELLO PETER ESTIN HUT!
The Decision to Take On the Challenge
Deciding to go was by far the hardest part. Not letting my friends down, not embarrassing myself, Not letting myself down, 'cause fear in the past has controlled me and has made me quit before, so not today! So the hardest part is all mental. JB- GET YOUR ASS UP THAT MOUNTAIN! FIGHT! Fear of the unknown is and always will be the hardest part! HELLO PETER ESTIN HUT!
Looking back at the clouds where the hut sits; looking down at where I have been. It doesn’t look easy to get here and it's not! But, like life, nothing worth while is easy. I say a blessing to the earth, the mountains and my appreciation for giving me safe travel! I say a blessing to my body for powering me up and down that mountain and allowing me to see greatness.
I will live to find my courage for yet another day. #findyourcourage #couragendures