To Climb a Mountain

May 2013: Home in Boulder Colorado

This weekend my dog Jacqueline and I went for a hike at Chautaqua Park, in the mountains of Boulder, Colorado. It was 8 AM but the sun had already been up for hours. We began to make our way up the mountain, which was relatively free of people. It was a familiar path, but as always the beauty of it all filled me with awe.

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The view from the bottom was daunting but that morning I was filled with energy.

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My pup Jackie, an endlessly energetic Australian Kelpie, was more serene than usual as we made our way up the trail. My phone buzzed incessantly in my pocket but was never answered. When I’m on the mountain nothing else matters. Those are moments I want to drink in, views and vistas that I hope will seep into my very being.

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At a certain point during hikes I begin to get tired. The trail is too steep, my legs ache and the sun is too hot. Those are the moments I live for. The moments when I start telling myself to push on, when physical limits can be transcended with enough will and belief in myself.IMG_0686

I go hiking when I am heartbroken, or my confidence feels shattered, or something has gone terribly wrong and left me with lingering guilt or regret. I go hiking to feel strong, renewed, having left it all on the mountain.

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Most of all I go hiking to feel small. It’s the same with looking at the stars, or traveling. You remember your own smallness, and the vastness of the world. And for some reason that is one of my favorite feelings, a high that can be accessed with my own two feet, a mountain and some will to keep climbing, even when the trail is unending.

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