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advice for hikers, mountain climbers, and the rest of us.

August 24, 2010

Many of us are trying to do hard things. We have goals that require an immense amount of time and energy. These are long-term goals that we can only reach if we devote our attention daily to the pursuit of achieving success. For some of us, these goals take a lifetime to meet. There is always more to do, possible improvements to be made, and a greater level of excellence to be attained.

Some of us are working on a musical instrument, some of us are returning to school after a long absence, some are trying very hard to raise healthy, happy, and well-balanced children. Some are trying to lose weight and get in shape. Some are trying to help others and need to keep improving their skills in order to do so. Some are climbing literal mountains. For the rest of us, mountains are metaphors. Many of us see the zenith of our goals as a truly high peak indeed. And for some of these goals, there is no summit visible, just the constant, daily climb.

Today in a newspaper, I found an article on hiking and climbing. I haven’t hiked in ages, and am not interested in mountain climbing, but I happened to glance over at a page that was a continuation of the mountain climbing article, and it was on this page that I spotted advice for people scaling mountains. I quickly realized that this advice can be used by anybody trying to achieve pretty much anything.

Here are the selections of advice that I found most helpful. This advice is from the article entitled “Good workout is worth the climb,” by Craig Hill (what an appropriate name), that was published by the McClatchy-Tribune news service :

1. Start slow : It’s not a race. If you give yourself enough time, you can hike almost any trail.

2. Practice : The more time you spend on the hills, the more comfortable you will be.

3. Stay upright : Don’t collapse forward like a lot of people do when they are starting.

4. Get in the zone. When you find your rhythm, you can climb all day. How do you get in the zone? Practice Practice Practice.

5. Stay positive. Where there is an uphill, a downhill is coming.

All of us facing our own uphill climbs can benefit greatly from this advice for hikers and mountaineers. We are climbers too.

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