Dreams, ya know? You remember those, right? Like cayenne pepper in the back of your throat, or a hangnail on a dry cuticle, they nag at you.
Given the proper combination of elements, dreams become spewing blow torches of fuel, of oxygen and fire. The flame is constant and hot, paralyzing even in the warmth of its seduction. They have the power to ruin lives. Or to make a life unforgettably and without measure, extraordinary.
Conditioning for the Grand Teton summit bid has continued in Jackson, Wyoming. In the actual environment the climb will take place, my body aches from the intensity that cannot be duplicated in a gym. Here, I’m faced with the reality of what it is I’m attempting. Confronted daily with a view of Grand Teton standing at 13,770 feet, an iteration of the dream has taken place.
It’s not about the summit anymore. I WILL be disappointed should I not summit. Six months of my life have been dedicated to strict training and diet. Fear has been and continues to be battled. But I will stand at the base of the mountain knowing I pursued this dream with all my might.
The external/physical risks are great. But they’re minuscule, insignificant even, in light of the greatest potential trauma. Failure at the attempt, while painful and disappointing, would be nothing compared to the internal trauma of not having made the attempt at all. A dream without pursuit is a trauma that breeds regret.
Within days of the attempt, the bid for the summit has become a technicality.
Don’t tell me you’re not capable of the same dedicated, passionate pursuit of your own dreams. You are.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” — 1994 Inaugural Speech of Nelson Mandela