No Mountain | Uphill Athlete
No mountain has ever been climbed. Those steps, those handholds, those ice axes are the foundations upon which we lift ourselves—and one another—up. Not above others, not even above our past selves. We go to meet ourselves. Our true selves. The mountain truly is an analogue to ourselves.

“Within alpinism's narrow framework we seek transcendence and relentlessly pursue what remains hidden from us on flat ground: Our true selves.” -Beyond the Mountain (2009)

Why do we go to the mountains?

Taking risks and doing tough things isn’t particularly hard, or brave; your actions are a manifestation of who you are and how you show up in the world. As fellow risk takers, we know that fear is not the enemy. Fear is our friend. How?

Think of it this way, fear is the headmaster, and anxiety is your teacher holding you accountable to the lessons.

We fear we aren’t enough: Not accomplished enough, not strong enough, not experienced enough. And we take those fears and channel them into anxiety of not being/experiencing/achieving and then turn that anxiety directly into minutes run and miles hiked. Into heart rate thresholds and sets and reps. Fear channels anxiety into action to train, to improve, to grow; positive action. Training builds you into a person that can run the race, climb the mountain, or ski the peak. Thanks, fear. You’re a great friend!

But. It’s all a trick.

Fear is only real inside your head. Anxiety is only real in the context of what you have been told about yourself. Training, and later coaching, has proven this to me time and time again.

In August 2005, as Vince Anderson and I waited for our weather window before attempting Nanga Parbat, Vince asked me: “Aren’t you scared man?”
“Scared of what?”
He lowered his voice, and glancing aside, he replied, “Scared we can’t do it.”
“No. Not at all. We’ve already done the work. We’ve already acclimated. We’ve already assembled the food and fuel and gear needed. If the mountain allows us the opportunity, we’ll be able to prove it to everyone else. But we, you and I, we already know because we’ve already done the work. The rest is just climbing.”

Your purpose isn’t to fulfill your dreams. Or share your dreams. As the water wheel harnesses the power of a rushing stream, you must harness the energy of fear and the power of anxiety and turn it into progress towards showing yourself and the world who you already knew you could become. Dreaming the dreams is simple. Anyone can dream.

But the doers understand why they’re doing it. And they have a plan to get it done.

We have plans to help you. From training plans to our new memberships, to personal coaching. You are not alone. And together we are Uphill Athletes.

If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is,
For man has closed himself up,
till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.
—William Blake

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