Have you ever climbed a mountain? Here in Colorado, we have what is known as the “14neers” club. The only way to become a member is to climb all the 14,000-foot peaks in the Colorado Rockies. My personal best is 3, a feat I’m pretty proud of since most people haven’t climb any! Not bad for a city girl from Ohio. During each climb I always reached a point when I’d ask myself, why am I climbing this mountain? What is the point? And just like that, my determination would vanish. And just when I was ready to give up and turn around, my husband, my greatest source of support and encouragement would look back and say, “You take the lead, I’ll follow you to the top.” And he always did.
Over the years my determination and will power to climb mountains and achieve the things I’ve wanted to create in my life has waxed and waned. This is why Junko Tabei’s story is so important to me. Junko was revolutionary in her own humble way. She didn’t lead marches in the streets or rallies at national monuments. She led expeditions up unforgiving terrain thousands of feet in the air designed by nature to test the limits of human endurance, because she LOVED it. She was her own woman in a male dominated sport and refused to be intimidated. She chose the course of her life based on her love for the mountains, her love for a man her family did not approve of and, her relentless pursuit of a life of joy.
Junko Tabei is the Bright Lighter who inspires me to dig deep and continuously discover the drive and determination needed to choose my own path, do what I LOVE and, create my own joy filled life.