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A Reflection on Wondering a Mountain and Fear.....

By Mike Marolt


The mountain is so high, so big!  I feel small.  The fear in my mind is real.  It drains me.  But it also is a hurdle that needs to be crossed so I eagerly move on.  Step by step, breath by breath, the weight on my pack straps digs into my shoulders.  I feel the sweat from my effort on my back and neck, and the wind somehow finds it’s way through the layers of my clothing to chill me a bit.  I pull my hood over my head and continue.  I am tired and weary, yet I know if I stop I will become more chilled.  So I invite the cold and embrace it.  I dare it to try.

As the rope I am tethered to inches along, I realize it is tied to my best friends also experiencing the same demons as I.  I am within my own head, not talking to anyone, just letting my mind wander.  I reflect on the years and climbs that have brought me to this place.  I enjoy the daydream of climbs and ski runs past that have fueled my passion to be where I am at this moment.

Time moves by and I realize to now I have been imprisoned in the few meters that my headlamp makes available to me.  I have failed to look around.  Suddenly, the rays of the dawn’s first light blanket the side of my body.  I can see where I am.  As I move along, the rays become stronger.  I am rising up step by step and feel as if I am dragging the rays up with me. 

I look ahead and up, and I see the rays of sun blanketing the point I am trying to attain.  The shadow on the opposite side looks cold and dark in contrast.  The light draws me to move along.  I feel energy within me.  I am more tired than I have been since I started, yet I feel empowered to move with exuberance.   Excitement rushes through my mind and I feel my heart race.   I need to calm down!  I’ve been here many times before, and I know I have a long way to go.

Finally, I am where I was looking.  I am spent, but I encourage myself to keep going; it will be worth it.  My head hangs low, and I am moving by a power I didn’t realize I had.  Suddenly, I can go no further.  There is no more ground to walk.  I have overcome my fears, but the experience has made me respect them even more…….


1 comment

  • Dan Moschet

    Incredible essay. Fear and cold, I could feel it.

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