It’s very difficult to climb the mountain.
It’s very easy to fall down.
I recently had the privilege of seeing a fencer get his A-rating. It’s a long, hard road that goes over a lot of years to get to this point, and it’s a huge accomplishment. There’s a feeling about this achievement that is something akin to getting to the top of a mountain, because it’s a long way up! It’s hard not to look at how far you’ve come up to this point and not marvel at the height of it.
What happens when you get to the top of that mountain though?
Staying at the top
What happens when you scramble up to the top of something? Do you stay there, or do you have to keep on holding on? After everything that you’ve put into the journey thus far, you want to maintain your position at least.
A big misnomer is that, when you get to the top, that you’re stable there. As though you can stand on the ledge and just look around, take a long sip of water and maybe a nap. Anyone who has ever been rock climbing will tell you that it doesn’t work like that.
When you’re actually on a rope and climbing up a mountain, there’s no real rest. There are moments of quiet and reflection, but you can’t just hang there on the rope all day. You have to put your hands back on the rock and keep on moving. Even when you stand on a ledge for a while, turning around to take in the view, you’re not stopping.
Once you get to that peak, that doesn’t mean that the work is over. The work doesn’t even slow down here, because life is a constant push to stay where you are.