Ever Climbed A Mountain? Ever Ran A Marathon?

A mountain can kill you without moving.

Philmont Scout Ranch is 136,000 acres of New Mexico wilderness. A branch range of the Rocky Mountains cuts through the camp, and the views are incredible. It takes days to get to the top of the mountains, and then days to get back to civilization. You carry your food, your tent, even the water you drink. Dehydration from the exertion of walking is a very real danger.

The man the marathon is named for died running the full 26 miles. Pheidippides was a Greek soldier who was commanded to go to Athens to report the victory over the Persians at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC.

You can’t climb a mountain without first walking down the street.

If you want to climb a mountain, run a race, or write a book, or cook a holiday meal, don’t try to do it without first practicing. You set yourself up for failing publicly at best, or never finishing, or dying in the attempt. Build your muscles, create smaller meals, write articles and short stories. Walk, draw, write, but make sure you finish what you’re working on. Then make another one just a little bit bigger, a little bit better.

There are so many writers who have books in their souls that we will never read, and so many works of art that will die in the hearts of the artists who could have made them.

Don’t leave your mountain unclimbed, your race unrun.

See you next Wednesday.

Chris Jabas

To Thy Own Self Be Loved, Beloved

What can be said about love that doesn’t feel trite or clichè? Poets, preachers, politicians – love is expounded upon so much that it slides over you without changing you.

That love can have so little impact is a tragedy.

Love is an amazing force that must be described a piece at a time. No one description can encompass all that is love. It warms, it drives, it soothes, it protects, it connects, it heals. What is love? Baby don’t hurt me, don’t… sorry, I had to.

Friday is Valentine’s Day, a celebration focused on love between couples.

Love does not have to be accessed through another person.

Know that you are lovable, even if you don’t yet love yourself. Believe that someone can love you, believe it to the very tips of your back hair. Then realize that you love yourself. You wake up, you eat, you sleep. Even if you are terrible at it, you take care of yourself day in and day out.

Show those quiet critics in your mind that you love yourself by taking care of yourself this Valentine’s Day.

Shower a little bit longer.
Eat that apple instead of that candy bar.
Do that one thing that makes you happy for a minute.

If you want to continue past Valentine’s Day, commit to the process of daily working to take care of your body, your mind, your soul. No one little thing does much, but a bunch of little things done day over day can change everything.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

See you next Wednesday.

Chris Jabas