Have you ever started, and stopped before the top?

I do this, and many people do this. We have an idea, a vision, and we begin towards a goal. Then we stop, and  never make it.

Imagine the climber, maybe that’s you.  The night before the climb, the climber packs supplies he will  need, snacks, warm clothes, matches, flashlight, maybe gloves, and toque, and a waterproof tarp, just in case.

The climber goes to bed early, he wants to rise early, he will need a good rest, and he will begin his climb in the dark. The summit looks so much more beautiful in the early blue light of sunrise.

He awakes in the dark, has a filling breakfast, hot oatmeal, and packs apples, sandwiches, and water, and packs it tight into a backpack so he can carry it easily and have his hands free. Oh yeah, nearly forget the camera. Better, you might want to record the view.

It’s dark when he climbs into his car, sipping his tea and driving down the empty streets toward a dark destination 45 minutes away. He feels excited, it is a good day. The air has a clean scent.

At the park, his buddies are already there and waiting for him, relieved he is there to share the climb. They head out in the dark, the path they know, they have checked it out before, their breath puffing out in little clouds as they set out, together.  No talking as each is listening, and enjoying the peace and quiet, the slight breeze, the anticipation.

Almost to the top, one friend complains he is hungry and going to head back. He will climb the summit another day. The buddies stop him, have an apple! drink some tea!- five minute break announced. Soon he feels better, and as he heads back up the path he is glad he didn’t turn his back and head back down.  He feels grateful to his friends. Oh yeah! He is glad.

Almost to the top, the sky is startening to lighten, the blackness seems more navy blue, the stars are disappearing.

They have been walking in silence, glancing at their watches, they know the climb is just 45 minutes but today it seems like it is taking forever, they want to see, and experience the sunrise.

Out of the trees,  all of sudden, they are there!  The air breezes are cooler. This is the spot that looks east, the rocks that are so uneven, but will make a nice spot to sit and see the show, together.  The last star disappears, and the hint of sunshine is coming from the mountain side, it is all in shadow except for trees at the crown.

Sunrise glides in and they were there! They did it, they all smile, sunrise, fresh air so moist it feels like a drink of water. It all came together, the idea, the plan, the execution, the goal.  They will do it all again, but today they are just enjoying the moment.

Too often I suspect having a vision is not enough. Partway through an exercise program, halfway to making a change in our lives, we stop.  It doesn’t matter that we are almost there, we need to have a plan  to help us over those days when we might turn back, when the summit is so close.

Planning the route is only part of the planning. We also need to plan for the days we need a boost, the followup when we are tempted to “just take a little break”.

Toastmasters, Joggers, climbers, dieters, possible mentors or mentees. Whether you are a toastmaster or not,  I hope you will help each other reach the summit. Like the marines, don’t leave anyone behind. 

I have to pause and remember my swimming buddy, Kevin. Every time I stopped to catch my breath on the wall ~ he’d arrive right behind me, Go Davie, doing great – go! Go! So I headed back down the lane, giving up my ” little break to catch my breath” – he kept me moving, I’m grateful. Maybe not right away, but later. (smile)

I started off thinking this would be a good post idea but wanted to apply it to Toastmasters who lose their momentum too soon, but as I wrote this story I realized it applies to more, including friendships, and ……..

I am sure we all pause on the path sometimes to catch our breath, and consider turning back, but what a loss to not make the summit, and plan for more summits, and more adventures.  Enjoy your climbs, and bring a friend along to share the moment, and to share the success at the top ahead together. I wish you success in your visions.

As always, send your comments, suggestions, feedback, subscribe?

About dfolstad58

I live in the South Okanagan. BC. I enjoy reading, exercise, toastmasters. spending time with my son, my daughter, & her husband , and my patient wife. I try to respond personally to every comment on my blog, and in this way I hope to get to know my readers a little bit and and am able to thank readers for their encouragement on what they liked and suggestions on what they would like to see me try in order to improve.
This entry was posted in Thinking Out loud, Toastmasters and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Have you ever started, and stopped before the top?

  1. Greg says:

    Hi Dave. A very inspirational story. Sometimes a little encouragement is all we need.


  2. Pingback: The Path Before Me « My Soul Leapt

  3. dfolstad58 says:

    Reblogged this on Notes from "A Place to Live Forever" and commented:

    From Oct 2011 but it’s a favorite


  4. Indeed.. Many start out with high ideas but few go to the end. good one!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s