Many tasks, such as climbing the mountain Chirripo, can seem daunting at the starting point. Try not to feel intimidated by this new challenge. Instead, have confidence in your will and legs. Remember your destination has a finite number of steps. You’ll get there sooner than you expect, probably sooner than you really want.

The real challenge in hiking mountains is finding joy on the never-ending incline. Enjoying the physical and emotional demands of your present may be difficult, but try. You will be here for most of the day anyway. Enjoy the struggle; your sweat, racing heart, and aching legs all mean you are working for something worthwhile. Enjoy the challenge; you are pushing yourself to new heights. Each step is the highest you’ve ever been, so celebrate the little victories of your feet. Take the time for appreciating instead of passing, because there is no path backwards. Notice the shift from the tropical forests to subalpine forests, it is astonishing. Listen to the insects, spot the hummingbirds, and get way too excited about the mushrooms.

Of course, enjoy the summit. Stop yourself, regain your breath, and watch the sunrise. Reflect on the effort it took to get here and ask, “Was it worth it?” It almost always is. Carry the confidence you gained from reaching the summit down the slopes with you, you’ll need it to take on another climb. After you can see the beauty of the base, slope, and summit, nothing can weigh you down. Not even the five pound jar of peanut butter in your backpack.

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