Sunday, April 11, 2010

Climbing Mountains

Last week, the weather here in GA was absolutely perfect, so I finally convinced my aunt to climb Stone Mountain.  She's been living in GA for 4 years and she shamefully lives 10 minutes from the park.   Stone Mountain is one of the world's largest piece of exposed quartz monzonite. (Many people say that it's granite, but it's actually quartz monzonite... just a useful factoid.)  The walk up trail to the top of the mountain is mile long; but add 786 feet in elevation and exposed boulders and rocks to climb, and it will be a work out for your ass... literally!

Last year, I climbed it at least twice a week and discovered a new found hobby... Geocaching.  Basically, treasure hunting for sport.  I found an official monarch butterfly coin, for which you can track online.  The owner of the coin wants it to travel far, so I'm planning to take it to Kuwait and find a geocache there to send it on it's way.  If you you're a person who like to hike, walk, or bike outdoors, I definitely recommend this sport to break up the monotony.  There are over a million geocaches hidden all over the world!

So, as my aunt and I were walking (and taking breaks) and walking.  I found myself giving her words of encouragement.  Partly because I didn't feel like walking back to my car half way up the bitch  (I don't like quitting.) and mostly because I think people should cheer on and encourage people who are doing things for the first time and feeling intimidated or unsure of themselves.  I mean, have you ever had someone invite you to do something that they were clearly great at, but you had never tried before?  And then they embarrassed you or belittled you as they actually competed with you to make themselves feel better!  Or what about those haters that never get off their own asses, but criticize you for trying something new?  I can't be alone in this observation...  talk about the things that tick me off ... Anyway, on to my story.  My aunt is a pretty spiritual person, so when I noticed that she was settling her tushy a little too long on a boulder, I shared with her something that gets me to the top when I'm feeling tired or lazy on my hike.  I leave something on the mountain.  Something that I need to lose and don't want to bring back with me.  Sometimes it's a pound or two, but pretty much every time I climb Stone Mountain, I give it my anger, my confusion, my resentment, my fear of something, etc.  That day, I told her that I was leaving my procrastination because lately I had been starting projects all over the house and making lists that I never crossed off.  Pretty much not getting a damn thing done.  After the pep talk, my aunt got a spark underfoot and was hitting the steeper peaks like a veteran hiker.  Around the last 50 yards or so, it gets pretty steep and to keep my pace (and my peace)  I start giving the mountain what ever I intend to leave behind, so I left her to make it on her own.  I quietly told her that this is the point where everybody has to climb their own mountain and that she could make it to the top on her own.  I waited, I watched and I cheered as she made it to the top.  I never asked her what she had left behind.  I was just proud that she did.