I posted a few days ago that I was going to climb a 13-er...a mountain over 13,000 feet tall, in preparation for this weekend's 14er.
The mountain had about 2,800 feet of elevation gain. When you consider a flight of stairs has an elevation gain of about ten feet, you get some sort of perspective.
The hike itself was, round trip, eight miles.
And the strangest thing happened...we had awful weather for the climb.
You name it, horrific wind, freezing (literally) temperatures, rain, icy rocks, fog, even hail. For the majority of the hike, the mountain ahead of us was shrouded with fog. Near the top, I was blown backwards off one rock.
On many trails, the way is marked by piles of rocks, called cairns. We were literally unable to see past the cairns. We weren't sure if we were on the trail or not for most of the final assent.
What I learned from this experience...once you have set the goal, focus on your next step. Make sure you're stepping in a sure-footed way, but take your next step.
If I had been able to see the summit, I'm not sure I would have attempted it that day. The conditions were more than adverse. But I didn't keep looking. I kept moving toward the goal. (Keep in mind, I'm not advocating doing things that are stupid or life-risking. I am advocating taking smart, considered risks, but moving forward toward your goals.) Sometimes, by focusing on small steps, rather than the end result, we can achieve even greater things.
Here's to you reaching your summits!