Life’s many mountains

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There’s a lot climbing a mountain can teach you, and no it has nothing to do with your need to work on your cardio or get better hiking shoes.

Like so many Albertans, I took a few days to explore the province with my family, and that included hiking the Ha Ling Peak trail.

It took four hours, and every muscle in my body, to get to the top, but when I did, there was something about achieving that goal that just felt right.

For those of you who don’t know the mountain I’m referring to, it’s located just outside of Canmore, AB, has an elevation of 2,400 metres, and a view that’s to die for.

I’ll be honest, there were times when I wasn’t sure whether or not I would make it to the top. This is the first time I’ve climbed a mountain where if you look over the edge, you don’t see a safe way down. If the slope of the five-kilometre trail wasn’t enough to deter me, the sheer height of it nearly did.

The trail comes out onto a flat-portion of the mountain, where you can choose to continue on to the very peak, or stick right where you are.

I made a poor decision and peeked over the edge at that mark, and learned very quickly that although the view was breathtaking, it was doing just that – taking my breath away.

I had to decide if I was going to stop there, clinging to the nearest and sturdiest rock, or move on to the very top, which although it didn’t seem far, is quite a task when you’re questioning every move.

Overcoming my fear, I made my way to the top of that mountain, which is kind of where I am headed with this column.

Although I was tired, my legs were shaking (from both fear and exhaustion), I pushed myself to the top.

A lot can be learned from that lesson alone. If you put your mind to something and truly commit, you can accomplish anything.

You can conquer your fears, no matter how big or small, and will walk away with a feeling of accomplishing something.

Although I won’t be seen climbing mountains anytime soon, I’m just happy to say that I did it at all.

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