Towards the Mountaintop Inch by Inch

Towards the Mountaintop Inch by Inch

Guest post by Anastasia Allison

I might be on a quest for Everyday Adventures, but there’s no denying I love nothing more than heading out into the wilderness in search of a mountain to climb.

If you’re looking for inspiration, motivation and basically all of the feels… you’re in the right place. Anastasia’s love of the mountains and adventure has had a ripple effect into every area of her life – personal growth, career, health, relationships and happiness. She’s now on a mission to teach others how transform their lives using the wilderness as a “teacher” and connect to the infinite joy on our amazing planet.


Hey fellow adventure lovers!

My name is Anastasia Allison, and I am so honored to be a part of Laura’s “Lessons Learned” feature on her blog. I am a writer, backpacking instructor, adventure coach, and Seattle Regional Scout for Backpacker Magazine. I have been obsessed with the outdoors and the wilderness for as long as I can remember. Shortly after I started backpacking and climbing nearly 2 decades ago, I started writing about my experiences in the wilderness. Specifically, I was fascinated by exploring how the lessons I learned in the mountains could apply to my “normal” life.

Years ago, my mom gave me a small painting which ultimately has become the theme for my own growth and personal development. The painting features a mountain in the background with a small snail crawling up a plant in the foreground. Underneath the painting are the words, “Toward the Mountaintop Inch by Inch”. I was immediately struck by the power of that concept: each person on this planet has incredible visions and dreams for what they want to do and accomplish in life, and yet so often we find ourselves paralyzed by fear or “stuck” in the confusion of not knowing what to do next.

When I climb a mountain, the first thing that I do is pick a specific mountain to climb. I’m not vague about my selection – I dig into the research and planning with massive amounts of enthusiasm. I visualize myself standing on the summit. I learn everything that I can about the route – and yet, there are always so many unknowns. If I’ve never climbed a peak, the planning helps, but I won’t know exactly how to reach the summit until I actually do it. You can’t know how to do something you’ve never done before, because you don’t even know what you don’t know!  In the mountains, this concept seems so obvious to me: I plan and visualize as much as possible before the trip, and then I take action.  I pack my gear, drive to the trailhead and I start walking. A mountain isn’t climbed in one leap, it’s climbed by taking thousands and thousands of small steps. In each moment, I always know what the next step is going to be. I might not know what lies around the corner, but I can always see the next step and take it.

Life is the same way, but for some reason, we are so good at paralyzing ourselves with fear. We retreat to the trailhead and the comfort of our car. We hesitate. We worry about failure. And, in our inaction, we deny ourselves the opportunity to flourish – the opportunity to live into our true purpose in this world.

If you want adventure in your life, it is there for you. If you are struggling with your fitness or weight loss goals – YES, YOU CAN change your situation. If you struggle with a lack of knowledge or fear, you can learn and gain confidence. If you feel unfulfilled, you can chase your passion and your dreams. You are NEVER stuck. Being stuck is a story that we tell ourselves because it is easier to stay stuck than to risk failure. It is a story that we tell ourselves to justify why we haven’t done more, even though we know we are 100% capable of doing incredible things. It is only by risking failure and GOING FOR IT, that we can ever live into the amazing humans that we were meant to be. ⠀

So, what’s the secret? There is no “secret”, but looking at the mountains as a metaphor for life has provided me with a perspective that makes sense. The summits of our lives are not easy – they are filled with fear, uncertainty, struggle and overwhelming obstacles, but you absolutely cannot climb a mountain without taking steps forward.  In those moments of feeling stuck, take the time to truly see your vision in your mind. Close your eyes and allow yourself to feel what accomplishing that goal will mean for you. Drench yourself in summit euphoria. Then take a step. And take another step. And another. Keep taking right feeling steps, and trust that the trail will reveal itself to you. You have infinite power and potential inside of you – if you can climb a mountain or hike a trail, you can follow your heart.

You are such a special, amazing being. Whatever it is you want in your life, there is no perfect time to get started. The only time is right now, and the only thing to do is to take one step – just one small step in the right direction. Don’t let your stories prevent you from being who you deserve to be. You are the author – and as long as you are reading this, the ending of your story hasn’t been written yet. How you write your story until that moment arrives, is up to you. Look in your hand, and you’ll see you’ve been holding the pencil the entire time.

If you want more inspired adventure lessons for life, please visit me at my blog, Instagram, or my YouTube Channel.  I also lead a hiking/backpacking/climbing group on Facebook – please join us!


Anastasia’s post is featured as part of the Lessons Learned series – If you have a story to tell or a lesson to teach and you’d like to be featured – I’d love to hear from you!!


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