To Climb, Or Not To Climb?


This is the sign that awaits me on a cold, wet & extremely windy saturday morning at the foot of Mount Brandon, one of Ireland’s tallest mountains. Beginning to read it, my mind floods with the memories of my last foray, my muscles remembering the aftermath! To say I am intimidated is the clichéd under statement of the century. What have I let myself in for, and why exactly am I here?

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition is unique, in that it teaches the importance of Primary Foods. These are all the things that nourish us, but that are not food in the traditional sense. Holistic Health Coaches believe that optimal wellness grows from having balance in all areas of life, and not just the diet. Physical activity is considered primary food & it is also something I have struggled with my whole life. I am the girl who happily stood on the side lines, and who always had a note to excuse herself from P.E!

Standing here now, I recall IIN’s introductory lecture;

This will be a life changing year“.

I know that personal growth and self discovery are an essential part of this, and so I challenge myself to look at that sign with fresh perspective. It occurs to me that in truth, the mountain exists primarily in my mind, and that it is the power of my mind that will conquer it. Here is what I imagine the aforementioned sign to have become…..

Climbing code polaroid2

Unfortunately on this occasion we did not reach the summit. Our group deemed it too dangerous, as the strong wind experienced on the ground had turned into a gale at the start of our final ascent. Despite the poor weather conditions, we were blessed with some beautiful views of the surrounding countryside stretching out to meet the Atlantic Ocean. We left Mount Brandon wet, muddy and wind beaten but far from defeated. I know I have conquered a life long limiting belief, and already I am dreaming of the finer weather to come, that will find me once again standing at the base of Mount Brandon preparing to climb.

(Am I the only one who thinks that the original sign seems to suggest that you should bring stout, as in the alcoholic type, on your hike? It seems to me that there is misplaced  “coma”, although I’ve never heard of “stout boots”. Perhaps there is truth in the old adage “Guinness is good for you”! LOL)


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