Tuesday, January 17, 2017

5 Reasons to Climb that Mountain and Reach that Goal

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”

Thinking back on 2016 I faced a lot of challenges that I hadn’t been expecting. I left a job that I had been in for 3 years with colleagues that were basically family. I started a new job with new colleagues and new expectations. I graduated with my Master’s degree. I moved apartments (twice). I started yet another job (holler because it’s my absolute dream job and there will be no more job hopping in 2017).
All of these things are very exciting things but they were all very new. They were changes. And while I’ve never been bad at change it definitely requires strength and ultimately forces growth.
I had to accept that the people I had seen 50 hours a week for 3 years would now be a phone call or email away rather than right next door. I had to adapt to becoming solely a professional rather than a student (although, I would argue, every human is always a student). I had to make a new house a home. I had to weigh whether jumping jobs was the right move.

And, to my pleasant surprise, everything that happened was for a reason and I have entered 2017 with a better understanding of who I am as a person more than I ever have in my life.
I know who I am professionally, I know who I am academically, I know who I am as a friend, and I also know who I want to be.
I also know what I want to do. And what I want to do is live, not just exist.
I’ve said repeatedly that I will get to travel the country and visit all 50 states in the next three years. But I also know that I don’t want to stop there.
I am young and more than able to travel the world and accomplish things that I never even dreamed I would set as an obtainable goal.
And I’m starting by planning perhaps the most exciting trip in my life: The Mt. Everest Base Camp Trek.
I will be going with my cousin in 2020 so we can save up, train, collect equipment, etc….
Here are my 5 reasons why I’m going to, and why you should climb that mountain:

1)      Because I (You) Can

Ever realize that goals are more easily obtained than you think? That if you really think about a big goal, partner it with small goals, and work towards them every day, it can and will be your destiny?

That’s how I feel about this. Yes, it will take a lot of training. Yes, it will take a bit of money. But yes, it will change my life.

I am young, in good health, and in the financial situation that I can save a little bit from each paycheck for the next three years and easily afford it. That’s also part of the setting realistic goals part. Would I be able to go this summer? No. because I wouldn’t be able to properly save and train.

Hence, 2020 it is.

2)      To See the World

Have you ever had those moments when you realize the world is truly bigger than the corners you are in every day? To me, I grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, went to school in the suburbs of D.C. and settled in the city of D.C.
I’ve traveled, but more as a tourist and less as a traveler. Realizing about just how much I have to learn about my own country (ranchers from Montana, farmers in Oklahoma, Native Americans in basically every state…. Just to name a few of the ‘American’ people I’ve never actually been surrounded by) makes me realize just how much of the world is out there.

3)      To Challenge Myself

I’m fit. I’m active. But I’m not the first person you would look at and assume she wants to climb Mt. Everest (well, some of it).
When I was little I was chubby. I hated playing games outside that required running. I would basically have rather done anything but things used physical exertion.
As I got older though, I realized just how much I loved my body when I put just a little bit of work into my fitness routine.
For this adventure I’m going to have to train. I’m going to have to hike more than I ever have (although I can say that hiking is one of my absolute favorite hobbies). I’m going to have to push my body more than I ever have. But I’ll also have the reward of seeing it do things it never has.
It’s also a mental challenge. Every ounce of me wants to question myself as to if I really can climb Mt. Everest. I mean, it’s Mt. Everest for goodness sake! But I know that I can. As long as I challenge myself to delete any mental barriers, I KNOW that I can do it.

4)      To Meet New People

I want to meet the citizens of Nepal. I want to hike with porters and translators that make a living for their families in small Nepal towns. I want to learn, I want to share, I want to grow.
I want to meet the other hikers and learn why they are making the hike. I want to know what motivates other human beings and in return gain a wider understanding and new drive of motivation.
Who are some of the most interesting people you’ve met? I bet they’re people that are completely different than you with completely different stories and backgrounds. And you know what? They likely thought you were wildly interesting too! Our differences are what makes us unique. They’re what makes human. They’re what makes us, us.

5)      To Say “I Did”

I want to be able to say I climbed (part of) Mt. Everest. I want to be able to teach my future children the possibilities that exist. I want others to know that anything is possible. I want to live my life knowing that I made possible ALL of my dreams.
It’s a definite feat to take on, and I could not be more excited for the challenge, the growth, and the change that comes along with it.