on running up mountains.

It’s hard to let people in on your greatest and biggest dreams. Sometimes you shut yourself out of them too. I want to write a novel. There, I breathed the words and someone else knows. Which is the worst, by the way, because when people know your greatest and biggest dreams-- they know when you fail. They know when you let mediocrity rise up and swallow you.

I hate that.

The thing is-- if you give up on yourself and you don’t let anyone else in-- you let your own big dreams die. And that’s just not acceptable because these are great and big dreams we’re talking about. You can’t let them die without a fight. Even if you don’t accomplish them-- a life carrying around the weight of your sweetest dreams is something I never want to know. I would rather hold onto balloons of hope and possibility than drag around a perpetual ending.

Lately, it seems like all the things I want are laughing at me. I realize that sounds dramatic-- but it’s true. And so I’m trying (I really am) to fight them all back. I’m trying to be okay with climbing mountains again.

Six years ago, I fractured my hip and learned a lot about relenting to God (but that is another story for another day). And at the end of it all, I got to put my beloved running shoes back on and go for long, sweet runs again. The college I ran for is in the midst of the grace that mountains bring and day after day, I ran up mountains. Every single day after getting to start again with one of my greatest loves, I ran up and up and through all the aches got to say-- “I can run up mountains”. It’s one of the simplest phrases of freedom I’ve ever held onto.

Your dreams will start to fade. You will grow up and get accustomed to the changes in your life that once rocked you. But you cannot simply take in life at ground level. You have to run up mountains-- because it’s better. And more importantly, because you can.

And just like running-- mile after mile-- you have to put one foot in front of the other. You can’t hide inside in the sweltering heat or the icy rain. You’ve got to move.

So here is my mountain-- to write. To write a lot and to write well and to write whether people read it or not.

For September, it’s going to be essays like this one. An essay for every day. That's the slow mileage you have to put in before you can race. Thirty essays.

This is the first-- pushing to run up mountains with joy.