How to Climb a Mountain: Life Lessons From a 5-year-old

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity.” —Amelia Earhart

1,554 feet and almost four miles

That’s how high and how far this little one hiked on New Year’s Day. This self-professed girly-girl (I am NOT sporty, Mommy!) charged up Black Mountain with her older brother and sisters and conquered her mountain, despite having never really hiked before. Needless to say, I was incredibly proud of her, but I also took note of a couple of lessons from the experience that I hope can help us all conquer our mountains in 2018:

1. Be single-minded in your pursuit and don’t multitask. Do one thing (one mountain) at a time.

2. Don’t try to go it alone. Whether you’re racing to the top or just need someone to hold your hand or give you an occasional push when you get stuck, find like-minded people to support and who will support you.


3. Don’t give up. There was a point in our hike where the incline was steep and the rocks were slippery. She tripped and slipped here and there, and even scraped up her knee. Few things worth pursuing will leave us without a few bumps and bruises. Take a minute, assess the damage and keep going.

4. Celebrate your progress and don’t be stingy with praise. We did happy dances at several plateaus and lauded her toughness, especially when she fell and got right back up.

5. When you get to the top, stop, have a drink, maybe do another happy dance, and enjoy the view before moving on.


That’s it! Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? And at the risk of completely devolving into the corny and trite, I will leave you with the immortal words of Dr. Seuss:

“You’re off to Great Places!Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So…get on your way!”

Here’s to a happy, healthy and mountain-conquering 2018!