Monday, January 2, 2012

You Against The Mountain

It's just you against the mountain.  What are you going to do?

The summer I turned 18, I visited my brother in San Diego, California.  He was an officer in the Navy and stationed aboard the USS Enterprise.  David was six years older than myself and it was my first adventure since graduating high school.  I was a shy, introverted country girl dropped into the middle of a big city and completely out of my comfort zone.  To add to my confusion, one of my brother's Navy buddies had taken a liking to me and wanted to go on a date.  A date.  Something that I had NEVER been on in my life (thanks, Mom, for making me a social but I decided what could it hurt to go out with him?  I was expecting something to eat, maybe a movie, and then back to my brother's apartment.  Something cookie-cutter safe for the first time out with a virtual stranger.

But noooo...

I should have realized I was going to be out of my comfort zone when he picked me up in a muddy jeep.  My date decided he wanted to test my adventurous side.  Just how adventurous is a "mouse" gonna get?  Trying a new flavor cheese, perhaps?  After driving to a local quarry, he thought it would be "fun" to challenge his jeep against a mountain of gravel with a straight vertical climb of about 200 feet!  I don't think I have ever been more scared in my life.  At least up until that point.  We managed to slide our way to the top and while he was exhilarated by the challenge, I was simply glad to still be alive!  Now, I thought, we will somehow make it back down this slippery slope and I can go back to my brother's apartment and never go on another "date" in my life.

I was wrong... 

Taking my silence as a sign I approved of his plans for the day, my date decided we should then tackle a REAL mountain so we headed to the Devil's Punch Bowl.  The name should give you a clue what I was in for.  Once again, I was taken out of my comfort zone.  For the next 2 hours I hiked up the side of a mountain as we used a trail that, at times, was little more than following goat tracks through brush.  We finally made it to the top and yes, I must admit it was worth it as I looked out over the beautiful "punch bowl" valley below us.  I had not let my doubts or fears hold me back and this was my reward. 

To this day, I can close my eyes and I can be back on the side of that mountain...breathing the fresh air and soaking in the tranquility of being one with nature. And I say a word of thanks to that person who did not allow me to hold back, but encouraged me to keep moving forward until I had overcome not only the mountain itself, but all my doubts and fears as well.

What mountains will YOU face in the new year? And more importantly, how will you handle them?

Are you going to let your self-doubts or fears stop you from achieving your goals for 2012?  There are a lot of things you can do to keep moving forward...

You can climb over every obstacle that prevents you from becoming the best you can be.

You can find constructive ways to bridge old ideas with new ones to overcome the obstacles which prevent you from completing your stories.

You can tunnel through the years of wondering if you are good enough to be a writer, wondering if anyone will want to read your work and just create the best work you can so you can go from there.

Or you can simply fly over those obastacle like they never even existed!  Moving straight ahead, eyes forever focussed on the prize, you can simply ignore all those silly obstacles that strain to hold you back and sail into the new year with confidence!  And when you reach that summit,  you will know that in the battle between you against the mountain, YOU will always come out on top!


  1. Climbing into the cockpit even as we speak. Again, a fantastic post! Thank you.

    (And wow, your story of your 18 year old self tackling those mountains had me on the edge of my seat. Yoips!)

  2. Yeah, Beth, what I DIDN'T mention in that post is that about 2 weeks AFTER I made that climb...there was a small group of climbers that actually fell to their death making that same hike! I read the story in a Reader's Digest a couple of years after I was there and it gave me chills to realize how dangerous it was at the time and I didn't even know it! I was just putting my faith in the "stranger" I was with and in God! ;0)

  3. Oh my... chills indeed. Wow.

    The most daring thing I ever did on a date, I didn't even get to do. A guy I met was going to take me out of town on his motorcycle (I'd never been on one). I was living with my younger cousin at the time, and she apparently didn't think it was an appropriate or safe thing for me to do, so she conveniently "forgot" to tell me he'd called, and he never called again. lol

  4. Poor thing, maybe she saved you from a bad date? lol

  5. As a teen and younger I used to love climbing mountainsides like you described, but not anymore.. I have a fear of hights and falling now. I think it came with
    Another great post with lots to think about. Although I have prepared myself for 2012 with a different mindset. Thanks Donna

  6. Great inspirational words of wisdom. I was thinking about my times hiking to one of the points in Gates Mountain in northern California. I thought I was going to die when I rolled down at one encounter.

    Thanks for posting this story.

  7. Yikes indeed. BTW I read this post after I made my comment on facebook about becoming the mountain. I didn't mean any reference your post. I hope you know it was just a joke. I do not intend to eat ice cream every day this year. ;)

  8. Thanks, Diane, for stopping by. By no means do I think I have the answer on how to be that next GREAT writer. If I did, I would already be famous AND rich! Lol

    My posts are for people like myself that can use some inspiration now and again to help them stay on track. I hope no one thinks I'm trying to push any "agenda" because that is NOT my intent at all.

    Hope you have a great week!

  9. Thanks, Sandy! Isn't it interesting when you read something and it instantly reminds you of something in your own life? I like it when I feel a connection to what I'm reading...and the writer behind the words...

  10. Lol, Hannah, I laughed when I read your FB comment because I knew you were referring to the fact that is was only the 2nd which obviously meant you ate ice cream on the 1st! Stop back any time!

  11. I like your positive attitude as always, Donna! I would have climbed the mountain, but the gravel pile in the jeep with someone else driving would have been a real challenge! Here's to overcoming all obstacles in 2012 :)

  12. Yeah, Susanna, I was so naive back then that I literally had NO CLUE what he was about to do until he gunned the motor and took off up that hill! I thought we were just there to look at a bunch of rocks! Hahaha...

  13. Donna, you are such an inspirational writer! Thank you so much for sharing your story too. I can tell you have always been a kind human being. Instead of sticking to it, I probably would have told that guy to take me to flat land or else! (Look at what I would have missed out on!!)Great advice.

  14. Thank you, Elizabeth, for your kind words! It wasn't so much that I was "sticking to it" but that I was too passive to say otherwise...I've come a long way since then...;0)

    Thanks for stopping by...come back any time!

  15. Sorry Donna, I certainly wasn't thinking you were pushing anything....far from it. This like your other posts are wonderfully written inspirations, and I am one who certainly needs this to stay on track.

  16. No worries, Diane, I just wanted to make sure no one was upset or "insulted" by my's all good...;0)