I’ve had the good fortune to hike the tallest mountain in 5 states: California, Vermont, New York, New Jersey and South Dakota.
At 14,494 feet, Mt. Whitney in California is the tallest mountain in the continental US. From the summit of Harney Peak in South Dakota, I could see both Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse monument, which is still being carved into the granite mountain face 60 years after its inception. From the peak of Mt. Marcy in NY, known as Tahawus, The Cloud Splitter, I literally witnessed the thick clouds that blanketed the area all morning being parted to reveal the gorgeous valley below me. All of this just moments after I said a prayer for the victims of 9/11, which occurred just days before. It was truly mystical.
This summer I decided to add 5 more peaks to the list as I set my sights on climbing all 50 in the US. Sounds impressive, right? Perhaps, but don’t let the images of Mt. Everest delude you.
This past weekend I scaled the treacherous peak of Ebright Azimuth, the tallest peak in . . . Delaware. It soared above the landscape at an astounding 448 feet and it was literally in a residential neighborhood. There was a sidewalk, bench and beautiful garden next to the sign marking the elevation. An elderly neighbor even came out from her house to say “hi.”
Not exactly a grueling adventure or something to recount magnificent tales about . . . except for one thing. The commitment.
I didn’t really have a strong desire to visit Delaware. And it certainly didn’t require much effort. Nonetheless, at some point Delaware’s highest “peak” needed to be visited to achieve the goal. And sometimes, goals that appear as insurmountable mountains must begin with the molehills.
Often, success in one’s goals is not about who is the best skilled or the one with the most training or the one with the most natural talent. Success lies in one’s commitment and the promise they make to themselves. And sometimes, that first step toward your promise is all you need to propel yourself to the life and achievements you desire!
Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.
– Peter Marshall
What is it that you are called to do this summer? Don’t overwhelm yourself by choosing the Mt. Everest of goals. Often, the hardest part of a goal is starting and breaking the inertia. And sometimes, the Ebright Azimuths of the world are the perfect place to start your journey to achieve your dream.
I can think of no better example of how the commitment of a nation, and taking one small step at a time, can lead to achieving a dream.