Much Needed Inspiration

There is certainly a great deal to prep for when one is getting ready to head out for almost six months.  I find that it is easy to lose sight of why you are doing something when there are a lot of other details thrown into the mix that need your immediate attention.

Thankfully, I took a little time today to pick up one of the best books I have ever read: Aron Ralston’s Between a Rock and a Hard Place.  Not only is his story truly inspirational, but, the best thing about the book is how he starts the chapters with famous quotes.

One that is really sticking with me today is:

“Mountains are the means, the man is the end. The goal is not to reach the tops of mountains, but to improve the man.” – Walter Bonatti, Italian Climber

Everyone has an opinion on who will finish the Appalachian Trail, or in broader terms, who will succeed in their chosen endeavors.  Is the final success really gauged by the achievement, or by the journey?

Should we all rush the time we must take to prepare ourselves for our journey, or savior the effort it takes to get there?  I firmly believe it is that effort that makes our character.  Without betterment, we are nothing but status updates, plaques, or deeds to a home.  Judgment should not be made on the material, but the improvement of self.

As I take this quote to heart and re-energize my preparations to depart on a journey that will truly change me, I hope that other people take this and apply it to what you are stressing about, suffering through, or dealing with.  I hope my shared moment of inspiration does for you today, what it did for me.

2 thoughts on “Much Needed Inspiration

  1. My favorite outdoors quote comes from Howard Tomb’s excellent book “The Cool of the Wild” (http://www.amazon.com/Cool-Wild-Extremists-Adventure-Sports/dp/0809237741/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1329853549&sr=8-2). Although it’s lumped in with humor books, there is some solid advice in there, including this gem: “Nothing looks worse on your outdoors resume than a list of the possible locations of your remains.” I highly recommend it, it’s a quick read, very funny. You can borrow my copy if you can’t find one.

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