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Quote of the day…Sir John Hunt

The true result of endeavour, whether on a mountain or in any context, may be found in its lasting effects rather than in the few moments during which a summit is trampled by mountain boots.

Pishp0117 As I rode my bike up to the summit of Mount Evans the other day in preparation for next weekend’s Bob Cook Memorial Hillclimb race, I found myself thinking about why I climb, why to me each step is "not a means to an end, but a unique end in itself," as Robert Pirsig so eloquently put it.

Pushing myself harder – against the screaming of my quads, the burning of my lungs, the sweat dripping into and stinging my eyes – I would set micro-goals for myself:

  • See if you can hold that pace to the next switchback.
  • Don’t give in to the pain for another 5 minutes!
  • Focus inward; revel in the challenge, celebrate the small victories.

On a bike, on foot, and in life, we can all use the summit, the finish line, the end goal, as a driving force which sets the stage for the entire process of climbing, racing, achieving. But, while on the journey, we find the greatest joy derives from overcoming our hurdles – self-imposed, physical, and otherwise.

These are the lessons, the souvenirs of the trail we keep with us, treasure in our hearts, and which provide inspiration for the mountains and challenges to come.

Sir John Hunt, leader of the 1953 Everest Expedition and author of The Ascent of Everest, put it quite well:

The true result of endeavour, whether on a mountain or in any context, may be found in its lasting effects rather than in the few moments during which a summit is trampled by mountain boots. The real measure is the success or fall of the climber to triumph, not over a lifeless mountain, but over himself: the true value of the enterprises lies in the example to others of human motivation and human contact.

Jake Norton
is an Everest climber, guide, photographer, writer, and motivational
speaker from Colorado.

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