A couple of years ago I got to climb the largest mountain in our area. Mount Temple is the highest peak (3,543 m/11,624 ft) in the Canadian Rockies that you can scramble (you don’t have to use ropes). I had never climbed that high before, so I was looking forward to the challenge.
The small team that I hiked with wanted to be successful, so most of us did all the necessary training and preparation we could. We spent the summer hiking smaller mountains and got in reasonably good shape. We read all we could about the best time of year to hike and the best route to get to the top of Mount Temple.
We got to the Mount Temple area the evening before and stayed overnight in a hostel so we could get an early start. By this time, those who had trained properly were experienced hikers who knew what was needed to be successful. We had helmets to protect us from falling rock. We had great hiking boots. We had proven climbing clothes and multi-layers to prepare us for the change in temperatures we would experience going to the top. (It was 23C/76F at the bottom and oC/32F at the top) We packed enough water, food and rations to look after us for the day but not too much to weigh us down. Most of us were prepared!
Because of our training and experience, most of us had a great day. The weather was phenomenal. All of our equipment and supplies were perfect for the day and our core team made it up and down in record time! What a great but very tiring day!
Although for the record, only three of the six climbers made it to the top… between the daunting short rock climbs and the tough cardio.. it was too tough for the ones who had not trained properly!
In life, we will often encounter mountains. How prepared are you? What are you doing to keep yourself in spiritual, mental and physical shape? Life is a bit different for everybody but I will tell you what I do.
Spiritually: I spend time with God every day. I read the Bible and other great inspirational books and blogs. I love and spend time with my wife and family. I go to church on a weekly basis to honour God and get inspired by fellow Christians. I also hang out with good friends and athletes who inspire and challenge me.
Mentally: I do work that I am passionate about! I am a musician, so I practice and write music on a daily basis. Did you know that music is one of the few activities that uses all parts of your brain?
I also love to do word games: I love to do games like Scrabble, Words with Friends and Hooked on Words in my spare time. These mental activities keep my mind challenged and motivated.
Another way to keep engaged is to try new challenges and have new goals. I have a ‘Bucket List’ that I am constantly adding to. I also like to learn new skills. This year I added ukulele to the instruments that I play and I also added writing a book to my resume.
Physically: I love to keep active. Depending on the time of year: I love to ride my road bike or mountain bike, go cross-country or downhill skiing, play squash or tennis and either walk or hike. I have a sedentary job, so I try to do something physical a minimum of one hour, five or six times a week.
The other part of the physical equation is having a good diet. Here in North America it is so easy to overeat. And I love to eat. But, I have learned that being over-weight slows me down. So I am learning to be disciplined in my daily intake. I am currently using an app on my phone called ‘Lose It’ to keep track of my daily caloric intake.
You only get to do life once! Do it with gusto! Go for it! Be prepared and be one of those who gets to the top of the mountain!
Question: What secrets to success have you discovered in your life? What challenges are you looking forward to trying?