She Don’t Care Your Point of View, Now the Mountain’s Part of You

Some random metaphors…

How mountain climbing* is like a marathon:

It’s actually more mental than physical. (So I’ve been told on the marathon part.)

~

How mountain climbing is like labor:

It’s intensely physical, and you can get through the challenging parts by resting afterward and saying, “Well, I never have to do that one again.” (Even if you hike down the same way, it’s not really the same experience, is it?)

The view I'd look down on when I needed to be reminded of how far we'd come

Also, the hardest part is at the end.

~

How mountain climbing is like a vision quest:

The demons visit you on the mountain. The discouraging voices that tell you that you’ll never make it, that other people’s bodies are capable of such things, but yours isn’t.

~

How mountain climbing is like writing:

I like doing it, but I really like Having Done It. It’s all about the verb tenses.

In the cafe at the top. Clam chowder was imminent.

~

How mountain climbing is like life:

Sometimes the people who go before you will leave signs.

Knowing people you love are rooting for you and waiting for you at the top makes it easier. I’m not too proud to admit that towards the end I was chanting my children’s names with each step… and I couldn’t think about Robert too much or it would make me want to cry for wishing he was there to keep me going (though my mother-in-law and sister-in-law were great company).

The kindness of strangers saying, “You’re almost there. One step at a time.” is a gift of grace.

Walking the last bit hand in hand with a loved one makes it all worthwhile.

If your equipment fails, you make do.

My beloved 15 year old boots failed as I started scrambling up the terribly sharp rocks. With the first one (pictured), I cut off the flapping sole with nail scissors. (WHY did we have nail scissors but not duct tape?) With the second, I was half a mile from the top and too focused on FINISHING ALREADY to care about fixing anything.

~

How mountain climbing is like my least favorite hymn:

I’ve never liked “Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley.” I think it’s bad theology to say, “You must walk the lonesome valley. You’ve got to walk it by yourself. Nobody else will walk it for you.” I’m a big believer in community, and the Spirit is with us so we’re never alone.

That said, with half a mile left, straight up, and two swigs of water left due to the pump at the AMC halfway hut not working, two failed boots, and terrible fatigue, and no choice but to continue, I TOTALLY get that hymn now.

It was much steeper than this at the end. Ahem.

~

How mountain climbing is like Outward Bound:

“If you can’t get out of it, get into it.”

~

*I’m calling it a climb rather than a hike because 2/3 of our time was spent scrambling up boulders and picking our way through rocks.

Title of the post is from Billy Jonas’s song “Old St. Helen.” Another Billy Jonas song was in my head for most of today: “Anyway you go you’re gonna get there… lean a little bit to where you’re gonna get.” That was what today was all about.

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7 thoughts on “She Don’t Care Your Point of View, Now the Mountain’s Part of You

  1. Mamala says:

    So, so proud of you! and love your analogies here. Also, what a role model you are for your kids. You set a goal, you made a plan and you persevered! I see much of your intention in Caroline’s swimming so you are already rubbing off positively on your holy trinity!

  2. Beverly says:

    Thanks! I’ve always been a fan of “Jesus walked…” Funny. I haven’t thought of the HS as not being present but, rather, as a presence that accompanies me through the things that nobody can do for me–the work that is uniquely mine to do: birthing a baby (that is inside me), birthing a sermon, working through the stuff that is mine and mine alone.

  3. […] I’m going to follow up Mt. Washington with Old Rag this […]

  4. […] Erin’s post touches on a lot of the same stuff I was feeling/thinking on the mountain. […]

  5. […] of this reminds me of my trip up the mountain—the many times I’d get to a mile marker, look up and think, I still have all that left […]

  6. […] set intentions, established goals, and more. Last year, for example, was a big bucket list year: I climbed the mountain, ran the race, finished the book (two actually) and lost almost 25 pounds (and […]

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