Why would someone spend hours or days or weeks climbing a dangerous mountain? Why would someone spend months rowing a boat across an entire ocean or riding a bike across an entire continent or hiking over 2,000 miles continuously?
Yes, people do these things.
But it's crazy. It's selfish. It's suicidal.
What's the point? It's risking your life for nothing in return.
Why do some people risk everything to climb the real and the proverbial mountain?
I'm sure some people do it for the recognition or the notoriety.
Some people do it just to be different and to stand out.
But then there are the others…
About two million years ago, as we understand it right now, humans began migrating out of Africa.
The first ones that dared to venture into new and uncertain terrain, the ones that crossed oceans and mountain ranges and went into uncharted territories, were surely considered by their peers to be a bit crazy.
Without the yearning for exploration and risk taking and pursuing our dreams we certainly wouldn't be where we are right now.
The real trail blazers push the limits of human potential and show us how to make the impossible possible.
In today's society there is a desire, a need even, to escape the rat race. There is a frustration with the material world, with dead-end jobs, with the work-eat-sleep-repeat cycle that we become trapped in.
We may not have uncharted lands as we once did, but there are still unexplored territories waiting to be discovered within each of us.
The human need for exploration is still there.
Those that do the audacious and the unthinkable, the things that make many people just shake their heads and call them crazy, are the ones who will motivate and inspire others to never stop exploring their individual, and the human, physical and mental limits.
This is why I think it's important to challenge yourself and push your limits.
When you feel like you can't take another step but you keep going anyway.
When you feel like one wrong move or one wrong step could be disastrous.
When there's no one to depend on but yourself to get you out of a situation.
When you feel like quitting but you don't.
These are the moments when we gain incredible focus.
These are the moments that can change perspectives.
These are the times when we feel most alive and when we show ourselves what our true potential can be.
These are the moments when we discover who we really are.
But these moments can only be realized when we challenge and push ourselves. By pushing beyond our own self-created physical and mental borders we discover our real capabilities.
So here's to the dreamers and the misfits and the risk takers and the adventurers.
They are the ones that show us the strength of the human will and spirit. They are the ones who expand our ideas of possibilities.
They are the ones that discover who they are.
Without the daring and the adventurous and the crazy ones, without the dreamers, we would never know the potential, the possibilities, or the capabilities of this human experience.
This is why we climb mountains.
What's your mountain?
Pic by Grant Krasner