Where it all began
My love of the mountains began when I was was five years old. My dad, an adrenaline junkie, booked a family skiing holiday, because he thought it was something we should try as a family. My mum, a total heights and speed-phobic, wasn’t so keen, but she went along with it.
A, “let’s just try it once” holiday, turned into something we did every year. My mum still loathed skiing, but she loved the mountains. Some families saved up for two weeks in Greece every summer, my parents saved for skiing holidays. I’m so grateful they did that.
That’s how my long time love affair with the mountains began. As a child, the excitement I would feel in the run up to a trip to the mountains was unreal, and once there, I never wanted the trip to end.
Both my dad and I would get a bad case of mountain blues following a trip. My dad would combat this by stopping at the travel agents on the way home from work and picking up the brochures for the following year. We would look at them together – often wearing our ski boots to ‘get in the mood’.
What makes the mountains so special?
I always find it really hard to talk about the mountains with people who aren’t as passionate about them as I am. I’m very aware that when I talk about my love for the mountains, my face lights up, I talk quickly and probably make enthusiastic hands movements as well. If you’ve ever been really passionate about something, you will know what I mean.
When I meet someone else who loves the mountains as much as me I’m instantly drawn to them. Trying to explain your enthusiasm for something other people don’t share is hard work, but when you know, you know.
It’s hard to pin point what is special about the mountains. The air, the peace, the feeling of being on top of the world – literally. You feel more alive somehow and free.
The mountains offer a sense of calm and relaxation, even when you are taking part in adrenaline fuelled mountain activities.
The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful and that doesn’t matter where you are in the world. Mountains are majestic.
What the mountains mean to me
I have always been drawn to the mountains. I love the snow and skiing, but I love spending time in the mountains any time of year. As a family we have spent time in the mountains in the snow and also the summer, walking and exploring. It’s just my favourite place to be and my favourite way to spend time as a family. We have made so many wonderful memories as a family in the mountains and I am so pleased that my family appear to share my love of these rugged peaks.
The mountains make me feel closer to my parents, especially my dad, as he shared the same passion, and they will forever remind me of happy family times.
The mountains also remind me that I am determined and resilient. In 2007, the year after I had my first baby, I began training for the Jungfrau Mountain Marathon in Switzerland. I’d run marathons before, but nothing this challenging. 26.2 miles uphill.
A few days before the marathon I discovered I was pregnant with my second child. After lots of angst, I made the decision to run. I took it easy (as easy as you can a mountain marathon). For much of the second half I was running with no other runners in sight, but I didn’t care. The scenery was out of this world, like a painting. The feeling of exhilaration was huge, and the sense of achievement when I finished was immense.
The mountains bring a sense of clarity with them. They help me think clearly, and I always feel like I am ‘home’. I simply love it.
For me at least, there is nothing quite like the mountains.
This is an entry into the AliKats’ Dream of Mountains Challenge.