Are You A Mountain Climber?
This morning as I was praying God showed me a picture of someone climbing a mountain and I was prompted to research what a mountain climber has to do in preparation of climbing a mountain. I jumped online and found a lot of great helpful information on mountain climbing. First of all there are different styles of climbing. One is the ‘Expedition style’ in which the climber makes several trips between camps set up on the mountain to carry supplies up to a higher camp. There are high expenditures for equipment and supplies with this type of climber because he/she is usually not alone and has other climbers with him/her. There is also a longer scale time up the mountain. Then there is the ‘Alpine style’ in which a climber does not have to continually make trips between camps so the scale time is much shorter. Since fewer supplies are needed for the climb there are usually less expenses. These climbers tend to take on the mountain and any challenges they will have to face on their own although they usually will let someone know that they are making the climb in case of any emergency.
Both types of climbers usually try to scope out and learn what they can about the mountain and they also realize and know the risks and dangers involved such as the possibility of an avalanche, poor weather conditions, injury, ice, snow, steep slopes or they could come across open or hidden crevasses. Because they understand the dangers, risks, and challenges of climbing any mountain they always make plans ahead of time and prepare for whatever they might experience during their climb.
With all the risks involved in mountain climbing it is very important that a climber makes sure that he/she has all of the proper equipment, tools, food, first aid kit, and clothing they will need before they set out on their challenge. If they know that they will be encountering a mountain with challenging terrain and weather conditions in which they’ve never climbed before they will usually turn to someone with experience or even take a class before beginning their quest. Mountain and rock climbing classes offer instruction about the equipment, tools, and supplies they will need and how to use them properly. They also teach what to do in different situations that climbers may encounter and how to overcome them. Climbers also learn assist and rescue techniques for in the event of an emergency. Many schools also offer ‘rock walls’ to learn basic climbing techniques and provide an opportunity to practice and train for their climb.
Mountain climbers realize the value of being in good physical condition for mountain climbing and so they will go through physical training in preparation for their climb. They focus on strengthening their legs with exercises such as stair climbing, running, and hiking and also do some weight training which is helpful in preparation for carrying a backpack or supplies. They don’t just show up to the mountain and try to take it on. During their climb, they make sure they are clothed properly, have all needed equipment, emergency tools, and they drink plenty of fluids so they stay hydrated. They pace themselves and don’t try to overdo it. Most mountain climbers usually don’t climb alone but have another person or even a group of people to climb with them.
Something else that I read of great importance is that a mountain climber doesn’t just need to be fit physically but mentally as well. They are often faced with having to make quick, sound decisions about their safety (and sometimes the safety of others), what direction to go, and the conditions on the mountain which can have major consequences on their life (and the lives of others).
So let me ask you, are you a mountain climber?
Mountains are often used to describe the hardships, trials, struggles, and the challenges we all face in life. Some are more like hills, small and not too bad to get up and over. Then there are those big mountains that can sometimes be pretty intimidating by looking at their size. There are times when we are climbing those large mountains we face that we might stop and look over at someone else’s mountain and think that theirs look much smaller in comparison. We may begin to question why ours is so much bigger. The problem with that is that our vision is usually somewhat distorted because when we look at something far off it simply appears smaller. So don’t deceive yourself and stop comparing your mountains with other people’s mountains.
You must also take into consideration the condition of the mountains something that is not always so noticeable from a distance. Mountain terrains are different. Some have more like dirt trails, some are thorny, and others rocky. It might be dry and barren or there may be trees and plants everywhere you turn. There may be a river of water flowing, small bodies of water, or there may be no water at all. The weather conditions vary as well. There may be rain, there may be sunshine, there may be snow & ice, or there could be fog. We all have to climb mountains at some point in our life and sometimes wish they would move or go away. But most times they don’t. You have to be ready for whatever conditions you may encounter on your own mountain. So don’t focus on anyone else’s mountain, instead prepare yourself to climb yours.
So how do you do that?
First of all you have to determine what kind of mountain you are facing and what style climber you will have to be. As an “Expedition style” climber you are not alone on the journey, you will travel with others. Some mountains will require us to climb with others. This means you will have support and help during the climb. So it is important to have other experienced mountain climbers with you. Sometimes you might have to take trips back and forth getting supplies and needs to take or get to the next stop. This kind of mountain might take some time to climb but if you are as prepared as you can be and make as few trips back as possible, then you will get to the top much faster.
If you are faced with a mountain that you cannot take someone to climb with you on, then you are climbing ‘Alpine style.’ You really need to look at the type of mountain and make sure you are not endangering yourself by going it alone. Be certain before you make the climb. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let someone know about the mountain, it just means it is a mountain that you have to climb on your own.
Regardless of which style climber you are, there are several things you will need in order to be successful and get to climb the mountain with as little problems as possible. It would definitely be beneficial for you to have a plan and prepare in every way necessary to climb the mountain. Develop an action plan that will help you reach your aspiration of reaching the mountaintop. Map out the direction you desire to take and have a backup plan should something come up along that road. Pay attention to warning signs. Pace yourself, don’t overdo it. You will avoid unnecessary stress by doing so.
Make sure you have the correct tools, equipment, and knowledge you will need to make the climb. You want to be sure you learn from someone experienced, someone who has successfully been up that type of mountain and who has overcome obstacles they faced. I can’t stress enough the need for proper instruction, training, and guidance.
You will want to know all the risks, dangers, or obstacles you may face and know ways to overcome them. You will also need to make sure you are physically and spiritually fit. You want to be strong and healthy. Eat right, exercise, and drink plenty of water. Be prepared mentally and emotionally to handle making sound decisions and judgments. When faced with a challenging decision you don’t want to be led by your emotions. You will need to be alert, well-rested and focused. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Pray. Pray. Pray. Know that HE is with you wherever you go!
This can apply to practically any area of your life that you are facing, be it relational, spiritually, physically, etc. Could be a small mountain, could be a big one. Whatever size or type, just make sure you prepare yourself in these ways and celebrate when you reach the top and master your mountain! Then when you get there look and see what has been waiting for you on the other side!
Declare this with me:
“I AM A MOUNTAIN CLIMBER! BECAUSE GOD IS WITH ME AS I CLIMB, I ALWAYS MASTER THE MOUNTAINS IN MY LIFE!”