I remember being 12 years old skiing with my dad in Colorado. The first time we took the ski lift all the way to the top, I was speechless. The view took my breath away. It was a moment and feeling I never wanted to forget (except for the altitude sickness I experienced a few hours later…I don’t mind forgetting that).
We all want to reach the mountaintops of our craft. We think that once we make it to the top, we will be a changed person. But once we experience one mountaintop, we are striving for the next.
What we forget is that it’s the climb, the process, the daily grind that changes us. It’s not the mountaintop. The times we fail but still pick ourselves back up. The times we are let down but still persist. The bonds with teammates we form along the way. It’s about finding the passion and love of the daily process that will change us.
This wasn’t easy for me to learn.
I always had time goals in my mind that I felt I needed to accomplish in order to experience the mountaintop. I was always falling short of these goals because I was always focused on the outcome rather than the process. The change didn’t happen overnight. It took days of showing up to perform my craft (running) to the best of my ability….whatever that meant for that particular day. Just focusing on what I could do that day to get better or how I could make myself uncomfortable to reach a new limit. I had to fall in love and find joy in the process of becoming a runner and in that I’ve been able to appreciate the mountaintops more but also understand that my life isn’t about the mountaintops..it’s about who you become in the process.