Descent Is Faster and More Enjoyable than the Climb

Go figure, it’s more fun (and much easier) to come down the mountain than it is to climb up. Yesterday (Sunday), Pops and I took a couple hours to climb and explore a nearby trail. It was pretty pathetic going up…

Walk a hundred yards, huff and puff for five minutes… walk 50 yards, huff and puff… walk 200 yards then get winded and have to stop for five minutes. Needless to say, it took awhile to get up. We walked up the trail — a fairly comfortable incline, despite the “huff and puff” episodes — for just over an hour and a half. I took photos (of course) and added them to my Colorado Photo Blog. The sights were really nice going up…

And the discoveries made the trip up (huffing and puffing) worthwhile. But the trip down… WOW! I was enjoying the physical exercise of coming back down. It was less strenuous and more active. The sights we had seen on the way up had a whole new perspective on the way down. Yeah, we didn’t have the joy of first discovery… but we did have the opportunity to relish and rediscover and fully enjoy the same beauty from a different perspective.

Now, I know this whole trip seems to be about comparing life to Mountains over the last week… and I think this is another example. I enjoyed the walk down. It was much faster than the walk up (taking 1/3 the time) and that alone made me think of how life is whizzing by so fast these days. It also made me think of one of my favorite quotes (quoted here before) …

“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a
well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways totally worn out,
shouting…holy Shit!-what a ride!”

~ Mavis Leyrer of Seattle, Age 83

Now, I’m thinking how much more I enjoy the trip down. I’m loving it. Pops says it’s nice both ways, and said that my uncle last year would rather climb than descend. And I wonder if aging backwards, learning to be a kid, to enjoy life more as one gets older… a Capricorn trait… can be viewed here too. I’m going to love the trip down. The trip up has been challenging… REALLY challenging. So maybe the best part of life really is the decent.

I’m not interested in bob-sledding into the valley of death, mind you… but maybe the reason the trip “down” goes so much faster is because it is more enjoyable. I was actually reading an AARP article in one of the magazines left by a former resident here at the campground while I was doing my laundry yesterday. It said that the reason life passes by so fast in the later years is because we have already “been there and done that” (in so many words) and that the first impressions are more lasting. In a nutshell, it recommended that continuing to discover new things, learn new things and experience new things would “slow the clock” — and make your memory impressions continue to collect. I guess one shouldn’t always looking back on the “best years” but should often look forward to the next years.

Now, I don’t have all this figured out, but maybe being a lover of learning, a “knowledge sim” as my hubby calls me, will slow down my ride.

I like my mountain. I want to discover much more of it, enjoy the view from all angles before deciding it’s time to head back home. But, I believe that the trip down is probably going to be just as enjoyable and alot more relaxed than the trip up. And you know… in the mountains… it’s beautiful and sunny one minute, gray, overcast, raining, snowing and pretty miserable the next. Then, without warning or fanfare, the sun beams out again and there’s a 20 degree shift up in the thermometer, and the sky has fluffy white clouds and it’s nearly impossible to believe that only moments ago you were being pelted.

To me, that too is like life. Just hang on when things get miserable and keep going on the path you know is right… if you do, the clouds will part, the sun will shine and the memory of the misery will quickly fade… unless you choose to focus only on the negative. And, when the sun is shining in the mountains… well, it’s hard to concentrate on anything negative at all.