Lessons from a real and metaphorical mountain climb

I always used the metaphor of climbing a mountain to describe my healing journey. Then I was able to experience a real mountain climb. These are the lessons from a real and metaphorical mountain climb

  • The road to the trailhead is wrought with bumps, divots, potholes, and dusty uneven terrain. It is hot, cold, sunny, cloudy, ever changing but it’s possible to start the hike by crossing a wooden bridge at the trailhead, or climb the stairs to the safety of my therapists’ office.
  • The air at the trailhead is cleaner, crisper, and alive with possibility and excitement. As I breathe in, my lungs are fill with clean air and I want to take deep cleansing breaths. As I begin to climb into unfamiliar altitude my lungs keep me from moving too fast and I find I gasping for air. I have to remind myself to breathe. I listen to how my Sherpa breathes and try to follow what he is doing and take slow deep breaths. When I listen to him and remember to breathe and take rest stops I am able to keep walking up the mountain.
  • I know there is a rocky, snow-streaked tall foreboding mountain peak just around the corner but I haven’t had the chance to get a glimpse of it yet. Then, as I round the corner I am at once awestruck by the beauty of the two mountain peaks and overwhelmed by the enormity of what I am looking at. I am determined to climb this mountain that is in front of me, to conquer my past, while keeping brave and optimistic while climbing towards the summit.
  • As I turn around I see a breathtaking, almost indescribable scene and I am in the middle of a cirque. Surrounded by mountains on all sides of me. A place to rest, and restore, to reflect and take the time to notice the here and now. I notice the beauty, the critters, the flora, the fauna the many obstacles that I have already overcome just hiking up this far in life and on this trail.
  • I start to notice the wonderful people we encounter along the way. These people are climbing for their own personal reasons but each person has goals and each person is there to help along the way. Support from others in the form of a friendly hello, or a smile or a vote of confidence to keep going. We are all on the same trail and when the terrain gets too steep or when my Sherpa needs to consult with others, he finds the right person to help along our journey.
  • The altitude is starting to get to me now. It has been hard work and I am starting to feel the effects of my journey. I am getting sicker with each step, but I keep telling myself, “take 10 more steps.”  I am starting to lose sight of the reason I am climbing this mountain and focusing instead on just reaching the summit.  I find I am slowly losing my ability to see the beauty around me and all I think about is taking 10 more steps and the reward will come at the top.
  • The rocks are so hard to climb, the switchbacks look confusing to me. I’m scared I will make a wrong turn and fall off this mountain. I am deep in the throws and committed to continue to climbing the mountain, but self-doubt seeps in with each step.  I’m scared and getting sick like I felt while facing the absolute truth of my past but I am determined to keep going.
  • I am starting to fade quickly and then I hear the wonderful words from my Sherpa, “This is your summit.” I thought we made it to the very top. When I realize we didn’t, I felt so upset inside. I felt as if I failed myself, my Sherpa and my family. Then I hear that negative voice inside that  suggests this is punishment and I would never reach the summit so I began to bargain and plead to keep going, feeling like my ability to conquer “them” was climbing those last 200 feet. Then I realized that this Was my summit. It was beautiful and quiet and wondrous and rocky and very high. I was sitting on top of the world and the view was the same here as it would be 200 ft higher.
  • I was beginning to feel my head get sick but I was overcome with what I accomplished in reality and metaphorically. For me, the metaphor did not break down. For me, it lived up to everything I had worked so hard to accomplish. I climbed up the rope out of the skeleton hands that have tried to keep me down!
  • Then I am sick! I can’t think straight; my legs won’t work the way I want them to and something deep inside of me says get down. I see the look of fear on my Sherpa’s face, I hear the tone in my daughter’s voice, who had climbed the mountain with us, and I feel the urgency as I am being led down the mountain towards safety. Along the way, climbing up the mountain I got sick, coming down the mountain there were moments I wasn’t quite sure I was going to make it. But just as the journey off the mountain is sometimes wrought with sickness and safety concerns, perhaps descending down a mountain pose some challenges too.
  • I was emotionally disoriented for days following the climb. I was scared because I had developed such severe altitude sickness, but I was also proud of my accomplishment. I was scared because I realized how many summits there would be in reality to accomplish before I could feel healthy. I lost sight of the fact, that I had accomplished so much already, and that each summit is a victory, no matter how high the climb. I had to fight to keep my sense of accomplishment. But fight, I did and now I understand just how many summits’ I have accomplished these past seven years. 

Some of the lessons my mountain climb has taught me are that it’s the beauty, fear, wonder, excitement, tears, and help that constitutes being able to say I climbed a real 14,000-foot mountain and a metaphorical unyielding mountain range. 












Thank you for reading Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph



50 thoughts on “Lessons from a real and metaphorical mountain climb

  1. Alexis Rose July 9, 2016 / 2:08 am

    Thank You very, very much for reblogging this and your kind words. I love the idea of listening to music with it. 😃 Alexis


  2. holisticlifestylecoachblog July 9, 2016 / 1:42 am

    Reblogged this on Mindfulness Living and commented:
    Reblog from Alexis Rose. Beautiful insight into the mental and physical climb we are on. Reads like a wonderful guided imagery meditation, could play some relaxing music as you get swept away on the climb…:)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. atribeuntangled June 23, 2016 / 2:28 pm

    Love the way the blog world connects us! 💜 Alexis


  4. Rowena June 23, 2016 / 2:03 pm

    You’re welcome and thanks for pressing publish. I certainly appreciate raw rather than polished and missing that emotional edge. As far as I’m concerned, a lot of these topics are messy without clear cut answers and raw also comes straight from the heart.
    Today, really reinforced the need to work through this with my kids!
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

  5. atribeuntangled June 21, 2016 / 3:00 pm

    Thank You so much for reblogging this Rowena. I appteciate your words of support and that its something that resonated with you. Sometimes its those “do I press publish” raw writings that turn out to be the most relatable. Have a great day, Alexis

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Rowena June 21, 2016 / 1:31 pm

    Reblogged this on beyondtheflow and commented:
    As a survivor of a metaphorical mountain and my own challenges, I really appreciated this. You’ve captured the journey so well! xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

  7. atribeuntangled June 21, 2016 / 2:15 am

    Thank You very much. I really appreciate your kind and supportive comment. 🙂 Alexis

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Miriam June 21, 2016 / 12:25 am

    Truly inspirational. Thanks for sharing your amazing journey. So many lessons Iin life within your words here. I loved this.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Opinionated Man June 20, 2016 / 10:07 pm

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Check out this post by Alexis and also her book Untangled!
    Note: Comments disabled here. Please visit their blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. atribeuntangled June 18, 2016 / 11:41 pm

    Thank You Wanda. Yes! Im filled with gratitude on my journey. Have a good evening. Alexis

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wanda Luthman June 18, 2016 / 10:58 pm

    Congratulations on making that climb! Not everyone can do that and many have lost their lives trying.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. atribeuntangled June 16, 2016 / 11:30 am

    Thank You Sandy for your wondferfully kind words! 💜


  13. SandyB June 16, 2016 / 4:06 am

    Your posts are mental elixers for me. Thank you for your transparency through your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. atribeuntangled June 16, 2016 / 3:30 am

    Thank You for your comment. I really appreciated Danny reblogging my post. I continue to be so inspired by the blogging community. Im glad we connected. Im heading to your site now. 🙂 Alexis

    Liked by 1 person

  15. amommasview June 16, 2016 / 3:12 am

    First of all: My deepest respect for the amazing challenge you tackled! Climbing a mountain like this is for sure not a child’s game. I couldn’t agree more with you, it actually sounds like life itself. Hope you fully recovered. I came over from Dream Big, Dream Often. Fantastic post!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. atribeuntangled June 16, 2016 / 2:42 am

    Thank You Ann! I always feel so supported by you. 💜💜💜


  17. Ann E. Laurie June 16, 2016 / 12:41 am

    Wow, this is incredible. Loved the metaphor as well as your amazing feat!!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Advanced Research Technology June 15, 2016 / 10:10 pm

    Thank you! We used to live in that area and are really fond of the “upper peninsula” and Lake of the Woods area. Your are going to have a blast! Glad you touched base.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. atribeuntangled June 15, 2016 / 10:06 pm

    Thank You. I really appreciate your feedback. Yes, I find that thinking in metaphors help me learn or pay attention to the lessons. I hope next year we go for it again. This year its 3 days remote camping in the boundary waters canoe area on the MN/Canadian border. Yikes! Have a great evening. Alexis

    Liked by 1 person

  20. dray0308 June 15, 2016 / 10:04 pm

    I think the fact that it actually happened is what made the metaphors more powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. atribeuntangled June 15, 2016 / 10:02 pm

    Wow, thank You so much Danny. That really means a lot to me. Im such a metaphor person, so Im glad it came through in the post, since it happened in real life. Have a good evening!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Advanced Research Technology June 15, 2016 / 9:56 pm

    It is so cool that you can see the metaphoric language in all of this. That is heaven’s language. Welcome in!

    The last 14er my wife and I climbed was both exhilarating and daunting. This reminded me so much of that trip.

    Keep climbing!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. dray0308 June 15, 2016 / 9:34 pm

    This is my new favorite post of yours. The reality of climbing the mountain coupled with the metaphors I can take from it are awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. atribeuntangled June 15, 2016 / 7:50 pm

    Well this makes me SMILE Terry! You have a good rest of the day as well! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  25. spearfruit June 15, 2016 / 6:57 pm

    I certainly enjoyed this post and very much relate. Thank you Alexis for inspiring me today! Happy day to you my friend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  26. atribeuntangled June 15, 2016 / 4:44 pm

    I do follow her. Hopefully she will read it today and find continued encouragement. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  27. atribeuntangled June 15, 2016 / 4:41 pm

    Thank You Oneta! I always appreciate your feedback. Alexis


  28. oneta hayes June 15, 2016 / 4:28 pm

    “each summit is victory no matter how high you climb,” very good thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I Sing the Body Electric June 15, 2016 / 4:00 pm

    My blogger little sister, ‘shouting from the mountain top’ will LOVE this, do you follow her blog? She’s awesome 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I Sing the Body Electric June 15, 2016 / 3:59 pm

    Thanks to you for being such a caring blogger. WordPress needs more bloggers like you! 😁💋

    Liked by 1 person

  31. atribeuntangled June 15, 2016 / 3:54 pm

    Thank You. I love how you are so right there getting the journey, that we are all traveling on together, and separate. Have a wonderful rest of your day. Alexis

    Liked by 1 person

  32. atribeuntangled June 15, 2016 / 3:53 pm

    Thank YOU for reblogging this post. Yes, this is one of those put my heart out there kinds of post. You are such an amazing friend BEqueenB. xx Alexis

    Liked by 1 person

  33. SpiritualJourney17 June 15, 2016 / 3:47 pm

    Climbing is a means of discovery for you. Knowing you can do and able to accomplish which brings a sense of joy and triumph. Wonderful post. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  34. I Sing the Body Electric June 15, 2016 / 3:42 pm

    You’ve put a lot of thought and care into this post I can tell…you’re such an inspiration to me 💖😊😘

    Liked by 1 person

  35. I Sing the Body Electric June 15, 2016 / 3:37 pm

    Reblogged this on I Sing the Body Electric and commented:
    An amazing and insightful post from a brave PTSD survivor who I am proud to call my friend 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  36. I Sing the Body Electric June 15, 2016 / 3:36 pm

    This is a special post, really insightful. I love it 😊💖

    Liked by 1 person

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