01 Jul Ain’t No Mountain High Enough!
In Autumn 2013, I set a goal… A big dream in my view. I set my sights on climbing a mountain!
Why? Well, I knew a few people who had climbed mountains in the UK and whilst they said it was quite challenging, they all said the overwhelming sense of achievement when completed was second to none. It was also great for their health and fitness.
Now, I am a self-proclaimed “Achiever” and also like a challenge. Actually, let’s rephrase “challenge” to “opportunities.” I welcome opportunities to perform at my highest capacity. Isn’t that what life is about… living your fullest and highest potential?
So, why not do this mountain thing?
After some research and recommendations from friends, I decided that the 3,560ft-high Mount Snowdon (Wales, UK) which is the highest point in the British Isles outside the Scottish Highlands would be the mountain for me.
However, first things first, I would need to get myself into some decent form of fitness, in order to have the endurance to climb a mountain. At that time, I was by no means a fitness bod and hands up, not necessarily eating the right kind of food either. I would have to make some lifestyle changes. This meant divorcing the regular Chinese food takeaway (yes, this was an extremely painful time for me) and getting into the gym and exercising.
I was determined to do this and start my mountain mission.
Thus the training commenced…
Then… BOOM! Ouch, my knee!
I didn’t see that coming. Although, I was having some slight discomfort in my left knee during the 12 months prior to training, it was nothing to hold me back physically.
Though here I was, February 2014, with this new sensation in my left knee that was causing me much discomfort and restricting my movement significantly. After medical investigation, I was diagnosed with intractable patellofemoral syndrome and an MRI scan also detected a lesion (a loose body or joint effusion behind the knee cap).
Say what? Doctor, are you saying I’ve got this U.F.O. (unidentified floating object!) thingamajig behind my knee? What does this mean? This CAN’T be happening!!!
3 months of physiotherapy followed and training for the mountain climb stopped. Over the months, the discomfort started to ease, but by September 2014, there was no significant improvement. Further investigations ensued and arthroscopic knee surgery was recommended.
After careful consideration, I decided it was best to proceed with the procedure. This had to be the cure, surely? After all, I had dreams to fulfill. Not only dreams of climbing a mountain, but other life goals and desires that would require me having freedom of movement.
I could not risk this condition getting any worse. I was going to do all I could do to ensure my physical health would not be a barrier to me achieving my life ambitions!
Surgery was performed successfully in December 2014 and yet more physiotherapy followed. This time however, my knee started to feel so much better as the supporting muscles around the knee strengthened.
I was feeling good and I was ready! My knee was nowhere near 100%, but I was ready for Mount Snowdon. Mind, Body and Spirit!
As Henry Ford said: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right” and I sure was thinking “I CAN!”
In April 2015, four friends and I (haha, sounds like that Fox Family & Nickelodeon animated television series ‘The Three Friends and Jerry’) discussed climbing Mount Snowdon together and we set a date… 15th August 2015! O.M.G. This was finally happening!
With training gear all in order and training practices with the team each Saturday morning for 5 weeks, the time had come. 15th August was here and there was no turning back. We were fired up and ready to go all in!
Mount Snowdon is known for its rainy weather and gets about 3 metres of rain per year. Climbers often find themselves climbing through thick cloud. The summit gets only 1200 hours of sunshine per year, but isn’t this something… the day we climbed, we were blessed with this rare glorious sunshine and dry weather throughout. I believe in perfect divine timing and for me, this was a beautiful sign that this was meant to be, NOW.
The climb was a little more challenging than I had expected. We set no time pressures and took plenty of rest breaks. Whilst some areas of steepness and rocky parts did get my good ol’ heart pounding, the sweat trickling and there were some knee niggles…
We did it! We reached the summit!
And what an amazing exhilarating feeling it was.
Yet, despite my personal challenge to climb the mountain with my knee situation, do you know what was a million times better than just getting to the top of the mountain?
Getting there with my friends! All of the love, help, support and encouragement that we gave to each other during our training practices and whilst climbing the mountain lead to our unified successful achievement of a massive shared goal!
“T.E.A.M: Together, Everyone, Achieves, More”
It was such a proud moment for us all. Lots of hugging and high-fiving!
Here’s a snap of the team just before starting the climb:
Another one of us at the top of the summit (the 5th member of our team is taking the photo) and some other beautiful snaps of the views along our journey:
And then one of me at the summit rock, just as the cloud started to appear at the top (the misty background looks kind of eerie, doesn’t it?)
So whilst my journey along my mission of climbing a mountain was less than smooth, it was all a learning experience.
I thoroughly enjoyed the climb! It was fun, exciting and pushed my mental, emotional and physical boundaries.
“A setback is the platform for a comeback”
I could have been resigned to believing that my knee condition would prevent me from achieving big physical goals. It could have been easy to have chosen to be a victim to it. However, I made a decision to be a victor!
I was going to shape my future by overcoming any perceived obstacles facing me and fulfill my dream.
And you can do the same with yours. All it takes is belief and action.
I encourage you to review your goals and dreams and if you feel there are any blockages to achieving them, seek to understand what these may be. Then work on overcoming them.
Look adversity in the face and affirm with all of your mind, all of your heart, all of your strength, all of your feelings and emotions and all of your passion: “I CAN!”
“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve” ~ Napoleon Hill
See you on Mount Everest?
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Teresha, The Confidence Restyler™ Xx