In the summer of 2018, I climbed my first 14er in Colorado. It was awesome. The view from over 14,000 feet is simply incredible. As I sat there enjoying the view, I began to search the terrain below and think about how far I had come. Lost in thought, I started thinking about how it wasn’t long ago that I was blessed to watch an awesome group of 18U ladies win a national championship in New York City.
I realized that like the climb up this mountain, that moment came at a high cost. The view from the top is truly amazing, but the journey – that is where real joy is found. You see, so many people want to be at the top, they want to succeed at a high level — but they believe it just happens. They aren’t willing to pay the price. I remember the challenge as I climbed the last few boulders to be at the highest point; my legs were gone, and I had no air in my lungs. Many times during the journey, there were thoughts of, “no big deal, just turn around”. That’s how life works, whether it be in sports or academics – everyone has moments when we stop and wonder, “Is it worth it, do I really want this?” There comes a point in everyone’s life — and sometimes several points — where we are called to make a decision. Maybe today you are at that point. If you are, let me give you a couple of things to think about:
1. Evaluate: How bad do you really want it? What am you willing to give up to go up? Make a list of pros and cons for the goals you have set for yourself. It is important that these goals are in writing. It is important that you revisit them often. And be aware — there will come a time where you will need to adjust these goals and make necessary changes.
2. Emulate: Find those who have similar interests and goals as you, and emulate the things they are doing well. We learn best not just seeing, but by applying what we have learned. Be certain that those whom you aspire to be like have shown a willingness to stretch themselves.
3. Escalate: Take the fight to your goals; attack them with an insatiable desire to succeed at all cost. (Conquer the mountain especially when you want to quit!) It’s important that as you take this journey, it remains uphill — meaning it is always stretching the depth of your commitment.
4. Elevate: Take it to the next level. As I continue to coach high-level athletes, I challenge them to always elevate their game. If you are truly driven toward a goal, then you understand that you must constantly be working harder and with greater determination each and every day.
I remember asking myself, as I got out of the car that morning at the mountain, “Is this worth the climb?” It’s always worth the climb! It will always be worth the effort required to attain those things that others just dream about. It has been my experience that many people talk a great game, but those who arrive usually have done so with a quiet confidence. Many people have a desire to see the view, but far too many will only see it through the pictures that you took. The view from the top is great; it’s truly amazing. So wake up, make the climb, enjoy the view — and take great pictures for those who aren’t there.