Running Up a Mountain. Rewarding.

Mike Erickson at iron mountainThat’s not just any mountain. It’s Iron Mountain. Since coming to Poway, I’ve ran up it 3 times. It’s much easier than running up Mount Gwanak in Korea, but still a blast.

Moving Meditation & Mental Clarity.

Running up a mountain is a unique experience for me. It’s zen-like. During meditation. The mind is clean, peaceful. I get the same effect from running up a mountain. There’s no traffic to get stuck in. There’s no slow WiFi at Starbucks to complain about. No distractions. Even better, there’s no positive distractions either. No delicious food to savor. No friends to laugh with. Just the mountain. And the mountain doesn’t like jokes.

This type of single focus is a unique opportunity. It allows focus. Intense concentration on accomplishing a goal.

It’s a single goal. It’s a simple one. Get to the top. Don’t stop. This type of clarity, removal from distraction is surprisingly a rare experience. I spend 12 hours a day on my computer working. I read. I study Italian. I listen to Chickens singing (I live in the country). There is so much stimuli surrounding us, that it’s easy to forget what it’s like to have a single focus.

This simple goal of running up a mountain has had big impacts in my life. I’m a big believer that accomplishing any goal help builds momentum for future ones. Having the attitude that acknowledged the power of achieving something right now and using it as fuel for the future has been invaluable. Inertia is a powerful thing that impacts us all. Try and form a new habit or drop an old one, and you’ll see what I mean.

Running up a mountain brings a great opportunity. The opportunity is visible, no riddles. Run up the mountain, that’s it. It’s challenging, but we have every single tool inside of us to overcome the challenge. And resisting the urge to stop and slow down strengthens the inner fire.

After I’m finished, and I’m drinking my protein shake I’m left with a unique feeling that only comes from running up a mountain. I focused on a goal. It was exhausting, but I plowed through the pain. It wasn’t easy, but it didn’t matter. There were obstacles, but it’s wasn’t impossible. Nothing is impossible.

Run up a mountain. It’s rewarding.