| by Danielle Vincent

The Time I Didn't Climb Mt Whitney

"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." β€” Nelson Mandela

I promised stories of camping

And this quote is about the time I tried to summit Mt Whitney with my friend Arlette

Yeah, I know this quote isn't really about that. But here's the thing: I trained for that hike for months. I really wanted to do that hike.

Training for Mt. WhitneyI mean, I didn't really care if I got to the summit, since climbing to the top of things isn't really my jam. But I wanted to complete it just because completing things is really my jam.

And the three weeks before the hike, life got pretty busy. Work stuff. The life of an entrepreneur is pretty scattershot, and this was one of those times. I was heads down on a bunch of projects and I didn't do my training hikes for just a couple weeks.

But it was enough. Between altitude sickness and my heavy-ass pack, and my muscles that always seem to be hoping to melt into a couch, the hike was too much.

We made it halfway up the mountain to a clearing and set up camp. Arlette woke up at 4:00 in the morning to go on without me. I stayed at camp and read and was angry at myself. She got back much later, and by that time, I was mad at her, too. It was late and I was worried.

After that, I didn't feel like I really could undertake something big like that. Training for something and completing it stopped being my jam. I fell and I didn't get up.

I decided that I was more of a flat-hike kind of person. I haven't been backpacking since.

I didn't say every story would be an uplifting one. Sometimes I get to be an example of what not to do.

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