February 19, 2011

Finding Your Way Home Off The Mountain

Day 50: 25.2 miles/1:27

“Just because you climbed the mountain, does not mean you get to stay there.  You still need to find your way back home.”

I just celebrated completion of the 50th ride in the 100 Pedals journey and commitment.  Halfway!  I even beat the rain that was forecasted for Phoenix today.  What a great accomplishment and I am pleased with my progress in all aspects of this experience.

I wrote this quote as a reminder that halfway means I still have farther to go.  In terms of this commitment, I have another fifty rides before I fulfill my goal.  In terms of the 100 Pedals experience, the lessons, and the opportunity to grow the journey will never end.  I need to recognize that accomplishment has its moments of celebration; but, it also has the obligation and the commitment to continue to challenge ourselves to grow and excel beyond the goal.

We often look at climbing the mountain as a metaphor for accomplishment.  However, getting to the top is a big challenge.  It is a monumental feat.  And, it reflects the success of reaching new heights.  Unfortunately, the mountain climber cannot simply stay on the top of the mountain.  It is both impractical and impossible.  At some point the mountain climber needs to find their way off the mountain and get on with their life.  In many respects, getting to the top of the mountain is only half the story.  The other half of the story is getting home safely and living on.

It is that way in life, too.  The Green Bay Packers are Super Bowl Champions for now.  They are on the top of the mountain – for now.  One day they won’t be.

The person who successfully runs a marathon celebrates their accomplishments of crossing the finish line after completing a 26.2 mile journey.  When they cross that line, all their work has manifested itself into the defining moment of success.  They are at the top of the mountain.  Then they go back to work, to some semblance of their normal routine with the experience of climbing the mountain in their heart.

Or, the person who loses a significant amount of weight and celebrates the accomplishment of hitting a low number on the scale and fitting into the clothes they dreamed about.  The mountain was the event.  Making that a long-term, sustainable reality requires an entirely new commitment and focus.

This is not to diminish the opportunity and the joy of celebration.  We need to continually pause and enjoy all that we have achieved.   We must take the time to do an end zone dance when we accomplish something that we worked hard to attain.  The reality is that the celebration will eventually end and life will go on.  How you apply the lessons learned, look to share your experience with others, and internalize the success of your accomplishments to other areas of your life will truly define and capture the real power of the entire journey as you climbed the mountain and found your way back home.

About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.