Mountaineering for Beginners, by Britta Benson

I’ve got a piece of expressive writing for you today. Here goes.

Mountaineering for beginners

Life throws stuff in my way all the time.

It’s what life does.

Mostly small fry, easy peasy.

Sometimes chunky, meaty bits.

And then, just to keep things interesting

and me on my tippie toes,

drum roll, ta-daa!

Life occasionally brings out the boulders.

The mountains.

I don’t like them.

Thing is, though:

I don’t have to like them.

Their purpose is not to be liked.

I can whinge, cry, sulk and complain for a while.

Trust me, I do. I like a good whinge. It’s liberating.

But that’s not the work.

When I’m done feeling sorry for myself,

I start the job.

I look at my mountain.

I know, I’ve done this before.

I may, I might, I must.

And so I walk.

I climb, I scramble, I crawl.

Sometimes I bumshuffle ever so inelegantly.

I’m moving.

I get my head, my heart and my soul up that mountain,

right to the top.

I might stop for another whinge, halfway,

it’s an occupational hazard for a human,

oh, I feel exhausted,

oh, this is so unfair,

oh, oh, oh!

No matter how many ‘oh’s

my mind spits out and sputters,

I will go on.

You know the thing

about unsurmountable mountains?

It’s a con.

There is always a way.

There is always a journey.

Might take time, energy,

lots of chocolate bars,

blisters and sore muscles.

But I’ll get to that top.

And then…


There’ll be the most spectacular view.

Far. Wide.

Heart open,

soul reaching out to the Antipodes and beyond,

lungs stretched, like the wings of a kite.

That’s the moment.

I’m flying.

I soar.

I roar.

I realize how much I grow

with every step, stumble and stutter.

I become stronger.

Bruised and battered, yes,

perhaps no longer spring clean fresh,

but much more me

with every scratch, ache and step.

I will own this mountain.

Own each breath that took me there.

I’ll enjoy the view from the top,

have a rest.

And then,

I’ll carry on.

Back down.


One more mountain in my repertoire.


What next, life?

4 thoughts on “Mountaineering for Beginners, by Britta Benson

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