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  • Writer's pictureSharon Krasny

Hard to believe

In less than three weeks, I will have hiked to where Ötzi was found and be heading down the Italian side of the Similaun Mountain. If all goes well, I will not have gotten lost in fog, or succumbed to altitude sickness, or been inhibited by storms. Yes, my imagination tugs at everything that can go wrong. It's human nature. What I have found, however, is I need more mountains in my life. Facing these fears has forced me to focus, to take risks, to get out there and do something about the deficits I see coming between me and reaching the place where Ötzi was murdered. My mountain has made me better.

It's a lie to say I'm not nervous. I'm a 55 year old English teacher, not an athlete. I'm also a believer in walking through the open doors and knocking at least once on the ones that are closed. If someone had told me three years ago when I began the publishing journey with Iceman Awakens that I would be climbing up 9000+ meters, I'd laugh. What I have learned from training is simply this: climbing a mountain is literally thousands of smaller steps aimed at something I cannot not see. When I have gone out to Skyline Drive on the Blue Ridge Mountains, I follow the path, I notice the scenery and the challenges along the way, I talk with people on the same path and am encouraged to see the individuals going beyond me by hiking the full Appalachian Trail. When I do finally emerge from the tree line, I am impressed with the amazing magnitude of God's grace and goodness bringing me to this point.

Standing on the rocks, viewing the tops of birds soaring, identifying landmarks in the sprawling valley below all give a sense of belonging. I'm fully saturated in sunshine and oxygen, which opens my understanding, chases away my anxiety, and brings my perspective into balance. This is why I do believe I need more mountains in life. Next week I'll note the different hikes in Blue Ridge that I recommend, but for today it is sufficient to accomplish the steps I have to take to reach my goal.

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