We do not come to conquer mountains, we come to meet them. They will always be greater than us. There will always be another one to climb.
We often give animalistic adjectives to climbs in order to ‘honour’ them; beast, brutal, savage. Those who ‘conquer’ them are praised as being ‘animals’ or ‘machines’.
I can’t relate to any of this.
I neither seek to smash a climb nor trash myself. Quite the contrary: I seek to reach the top feeling that I have ridden well, feel strong and can look forward to the next one.
I focus on forgetting myself: absorbing myself in the smells, the light, the views, and my own sensations. It’s all part of an incessant dialogue between myself and my surroundings. I’m a romantic, albeit a very stubborn one. I’m in love with the beauty of the climb and the places that it takes us.
Moments of liberating happiness only occur when one is locked into the present moment. Digging deep into one’s own reserves helps us to do that.