5 hours before our flight leaves from breckenridge, colorado to detroit, michigan. 5 hours to travel up a mountain in 2 feet deep, freezing snow and terribly cold conditions. My brother daniel, his friend Merek, my mom and my dad sit in the warm car staring at the gorgeous sky line as I start to layer my clothes and prepare for the hike.
The mountains looked as a painting, it was surreal. It was as if you could see each individual tree through the sea of trees. I was baffled at what I was seeing. As we got closer to the parking for the trail, the mountain seemed to grow taller and taller and I got more and more frightened.
We arrived slowly to the trail while admiring our view, and my brother, his friend and I start to unload what we had gathered for the trip to the peak of the mountain. The minute we stepped outside, we knew we didn't pack enough while we realized how big the mountain actually is. Our decision at the hotel was to bring two waters which was needed to be split between the three of us, no food and no extra clothes. In that moment of standing in awe of the mountain, I felt butterflies in my stomach and started to think about what could happen to us.
We head off mindlessly because no one had a clue where to go. First thing we approach was a fork in the trails, one going up the mountain and one going right. We came to a unanimous decision that we should go up rather then right, simply because common sense and logic would point to that the trail that goes up, will reach the top of the mountain. We started on the trail that goes up and then reached a dead end. In turning around to try to go right I lost my sense in direction and didn't know the way to walk in, in order to get back to the fork. I start to realize that this won't be like any other trail I walked before and that I needed to pay more attention to where I was walking. As we headed back after we reclaimed knowledge of where we were at, I got the feeling in my stomach again. My mind wanders as I thought about worse case scenario, nevertheless, we followed the trail right.
The tree line faded into snow and mountaintop. I felt the air getting thinner, I felt the snow getting deeper as we try to achieve the goal to reach the top. Not only was the snow getting deeper, it was also getting less dense. We gradually began to fall into the snow as deep as my knees. As I am the lightest one so I had the easiest time to stand on the snow but my brother being the heaviest, struggled with traveling when every step he took, he would sink. And as we got higher up the mountain he would sink more and more. This got to frustrating to him, that he turned back. He told us to go to the top of the mountain and meet him at the bottom after. So, we did as he said.
Merek and I started sinking more and more. We gradually started sinking more frequently and climbing up the mountain got more stressful. It had got to the point where I, even though I was the lightest, was sinking every step. We had thought about turning back but at this point, we were already 4/5ths the way to the peak of the mountain. I could see the footmarks from the journeys people have taken before us. I can see them getting more clear as we got closer to the top. I could see a fence that I had not seen before.
There wasn't much conversation on the way up the mountain but Merek kept telling me “we're almost there, don’t give up.”
We got to the point where we had become yards away from the top. My heart started beating as we approach our goal. The feeling of accomplishment and success overcame me. I find a dirt patch where a bush was, so i'm was not standing in two feet deep snow and as I get near it I can see the skyline on the other side of the mountain. I stood there and slowly spun around and felt like I was on top of the world. I imagined what would've happened if I would've turned around with my brother. I realized that I would have had the feeling of failure that would have eaten at me while I walked back if I turned around. In this moment, my mindset changed. I told myself that I would always try to push myself, even when things get hard. That I would always strive for my goal that I had set, and from my personal experience, I would always recommend others to try their hardest and to push themselves past any complications in life. they shouldn't let obstacles get in the way of their goal. As we were gazing across the horizon, the sun started setting and it was the best view I had ever seen. I felt one with the mountain, I layed back on a patch of dirt and took in the unexplainable feeling I had. Now, even after all this time, I still try to push myself. I still try to accomplish the same feeling I had when I climbed that mountain because there isn’t a better feeling, then the feeling of accomplishment.