Day Eight

Wheeler Peak in Nevada (13,063′), my most recent climb (June 2012.) We climbed this peak in 60 mph winds, with many gusts blowing well over 80 mph. Photo courtesy Charles Young.

Ahh, you old devil Motivation. Of all the demons I face, you are my biggest bane, you are the homonculous that rides upon my shoulder, you little bat-winged leather monster, you shadow Djinn, you horror. Now that I am paying a little more attention to my habits, I am seeing clearly the pattern I have, between days of adequate energy followed by days when it is a struggle to get anything done, I just want to sit on the couch and watch tv,

I haven’t written much today. I did finally get motivated to clean the house, and I do plan on getting my five pages by tonight, but it has been harder and harder the last few days. Happily, I do seem to be able to overcome it, but I have to be aware of doing it in the first place!  Since I was very young, motivation has always been a bugaboo for me. I failed in school from kindergarten to my senior year of high school, when I dropped out. I quit Tae Kwon Do when I was six months from getting my black belt.

In 1998, I started climbing mountains. Beginning with Mt. Thielsen near Crater Lake, Oregon, I have climbed 3/4 of the Cascade Range volcanoes, I have climbed the Grand Teton in Wyoming, I have climbed Mt. Shuksan in the North Cascades, Wheeler Peak in Nevada. In a single day I climbed the two highest peaks in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, while in the Sky Lakes Wilderness my brother and I climbed five peaks over 7000′ in just a few hours. There have certainly been my share of failures in that time, but I have had far more successes. The point I am trying to make is that through the action-centered pursuits of mountaineering and rock climbing, I have learned how to be a success, I have learned patience, determination, and a stronger will.

I can fight through these low-energy days, and find the desire to get the work done. It just needs to become an established habit that I always, always push through it.

AT 41 years old, I don’t have forever anymore. I have to do this now.

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