We had been climbing what sometimes felt like a near vertical trek for hours. Our legs were starting to tire, we were thirsty, a little nauseous, and short of breath. We had finally reached the top of Tuckerman’s Ravine and we were standing at the base of the summit cone with less than a mile to scramble up to the summit. We decided this would be a great place to take a couple minutes to catch our breath, get some water, and prepare for the different terrain that lay ahead.
We moved off the trail a bit and dropped our packs on a rock. Heather had turned around to look down at some of what we had just climbed she could see the bottom of the ravine which was almost 2000 feet beneath us, in the background stood the mighty range of the White Mountains. I looked at her face and she looked a little tired and a little scared. At the same time you could see the strong sense of accomplishment in her eyes from seeing how far and how high we had climbed. I turned to take a look at the view she had been looking at. There are no words that come close to describing the sheer, uninterrupted beauty that lie in front and beneath us. We stood side by side taking in the view in complete silence. Goosebumps had formed on my arms and I turned to her to chat and as our eyes met we both started crying. The depth of this awe-striking beauty seemed to be perfectly placed in front of us by an Artist whose intentions were to help us understand how small we are and how enormous the landscape around us was. Just the view alone had filled us with gratitude and compelled us to tears. After we had composed ourselves and drank some water I pulled out my phone to take some photos, a lot of photos.
We stumbled our way up to the summit and enjoyed more amazing views and snapped more pictures. We had been home for a few days and we had wanted to show some our trek to our family. I decided the best way to do this was to put the pictures on the TV to make sure that everyone understood how big these mountains really were. As I scrolled through the photos I came to the collection from the top of Tuckerman. I was so disappointed at the pictures, actually, I was frustrated. Among all the oos and ahs I knew that the photos didn’t even begin to portray the majestic beauty that Heather and I had seen with our eyes and experienced with our hearts. I’ve heard the phrase “pictures don’t do it justice” so many times and I always saw that in a negative context. What if that’s actually a positive? What if it was a good thing I was frustrated? What if the pictures weren’t supposed to do it justice? What if what it really meant is that the only way to get a true glimpse of the magic was to experience it first-hand? Maybe, that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be.
So what the heck does this have to do with plant-based lifestyle and fitness? Everything.
I’m not sure if it is my age or the plants have finally gotten to my head but I’m starting to see life through unbelievably different lenses than I used to. I’m learning that the things in life that are really important, I mean that really matter, can’t be bought, sold, faked, or taken, they must be experienced. Think about it. Faith, family, and friends have no monetary cost and their value is infinite. You can’t buy memories, you can’t use a credit card to pay for health. If your relationship with a person has something to do with a cash value, your relationship is a fraud. That’s exactly what I like about fitness and training progress. Sure, you can pay money to join a gym, hire a trainer, or buy a program but at the end of the day you can’t pay for fitness. It doesn’t discriminate, or recognize wealth, your background doesn’t matter and neither does your social status. It is purely based on what amount of work you put in. You can’t fake fitness and I love it for that reason. Like the mountain you have to experience it by persistently grinding your way to the top. It is pure and unadulterated. People may help to encourage you but at the end of the day it is you working hard to attain your goal. The playing field is level,and money, fame, and fortune do not matter. Maybe, like the photo of the mountain, that’s how it’s supposed to be.
The journey to health, plant-based eating, and weight-loss is much the same way. I’ve been getting approached about MLMs and selling products quite a bit lately. They all have the same concept behind them. You pay money to get quality health foods. The problem is that all of these foods, shakes, and drinks are being boasted by the amount of veggies and fruits in them. Just eat the veggies and fruits, we already know that. I actually just got kicked out from one of my groups because I made a post that said something like, “you don’t need a pill, magic or pay as you go plan to learn about plant-based eating and lifestyle. All the info you need is already out there and free for the taking. I was blocked the next day. 🙁
I’ve spent some time getting to know many people that have had a similar journey to mine. Surprisingly, there are more of us than you could imagine. I have spent hours, maybe days, trying to figure out how and why they break out of the prison that they have built around themselves. If you could recreate this repeated scenario and sell it you would be a pretty wealthy person. But there’s a problem. The transformations are all so different, they all come from different geography, socioeconomic status, culture, color, race, religion….and on and on. You can see the result of the transformation but you can’t put it into words or photos. I, myself, can’t possibly tell you, show you, or convey to you the feeling of standing atop the highest mountain on the east coast with the same woman that put my socks and shoes on a few short years ago. It has to be experienced and maybe that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be. See, a journey of any kind that heads for self-betterment doesn’t discriminate, or recognize wealth, your background doesn’t matter and neither does your social status. It is purely based on what amount of work you put in. You can’t fake a journey and I love it for that reason. It’s actually a really good thing because it gives everyone an equal opportunity to dig out of the hole. It’s not complicated and the information is readily available. However, just because it is simple, it does not make it easy. The struggles will happen and the road is not easy even though it is free from the monetary aspect, it will cost you with discipline, self-control., and you may have to give up some things that are bad for you. So, that means it’s free but it will cost you…… weird huh?
At the end of the day, in the “bigger” picture, the best things in life are free and the worst things can cost you everything.
Get to work and get healthy, leave your wallet at home.
So, all this mountain talk made me think it would make a nice picture. Here it is, June 2010, my wife put my socks on this morning. July 2016 I put her backpack on her. How much money is that worth? How many payments of 39.99 would you pay for the feeling that gave me? Obviously that feeling is priceless and it’s out there for anyone and everyone, it’s free, but you have to experience it and maybe, that’s exactly how it should be.
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“Eat plants, move your body. All ya got to do is a little more than ya did yesterday😉 ”
Until next time,