Yes, Miss Montana, Thank You!

Something special always seems to happen around the mountains of the Bible. Moses gets his call from a firey bush, the glory of Jesus is revealed to Peter, James and John in the transfiguration story, and Elijah waited on Mt. Horeb as the wind, the earthquake and the fire passed, and a still small voice spoke to him. So, one of the key pieces of going to my hometown was to conquer Corkscrew Hill which winds its way up the backside of Mad River Mountain Ski Resort. By Ohio terms Corkscrew Hill IS a mountain. It’s just down the ridge a bit from the 2nd highest point in Ohio – Bald Knob (which I also passed by on the road). The road climbs about 250 feet in half a mile of pavement (mostly up!). Climbing has never been a great skill of mine, but the challenge is there. All I wanted to do, was get to the top, alive (then ride another 30 miles).

Let me say that the perspective that a mountain provides….is always different than what you expect….
Getting to the top wasn’t a miracle. It wasn’t even terribly profound or moving. It was hard. It was a climb shrouded in trees, so I didn’t even have a fantastic view. It was a climb. So after pausing at the top briefly for applause……hearing none, I departed, waiting, hoping for the still small voice.

As I was driving home that afternoon, I was rocking out to classics on MIX 107, like Journey, Rush and Def Leppard, just waiting for that still small voice to speak. Then….she did.

“There’s always gonna be another mountain.
I’m always gonna wanna make it move.
Always gonna be a uphill battle.
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose”

“Ain’t about how fast I get there.
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side.
It’s the climb.”

MIX 107 – playing Hannah Montana – WHAAAAAAA????
But, sing, she did- right at me, too!
Dork? Maybe.
But, it was the voice that God chose to use to say something to me. It wasn’t about getting to the top of Corkscrew Hill and it wasn’t about the view once I got there. It certainly wasn’t about how tall or steep the hill was. It was the climb itself. It was the focus I found in pedaling to the top.

You see, as I began the climb, I was huffing and puffing just a bit….but…I was constantly re-focussing on my breathing. What I found was that if I could control my breath, I was able to move with grace and pace. Even though I was “out of the saddle” some, and pushing hard on those legs constantly, it was less of a struggle when I focussed on what was most important – filling my lungs with warm, nourishing summer air! That’s how I climbed it.

How do you climb your mountains? Do you look around and wrestle with all that is going on around you? Do you find yourself angry about things which are out of your control? Do you dwell on the past or the steepness of what lies ahead? Or do you find that you are focussed on yourself, examining what things you can control, and what choices you can make?

Climbing Corkscrew Hill reminded me how essential it is, in the steepness of life, to be centered and unwaveringly yourself! I can only be myself. I can only make my choices. Instead of panting and freaking out about the next bend, I chose to sit, to breathe and to push- the only things I could do to affect my experience.
What do you need to do to affect your experience?

It’s not the view, or even the accomplishment- it’s the climb.
It’s focussing on your own journey.
It’s not knowing what the end result is, it’s the process of helping that end result come to life.
Thank you Miss Montana for reminding me- to breathe!

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