In 1953, Edmund Hillary and his Nepalese guide, Tenzing Norgay, became the first humans to climb to the top of Mount Everest, the highest point in the world, at 29,028 ft.
I myself have never even remotely wanted to climb a mountain, but, man, do I admire people who do.
Especially in 1953… they didn’t exactly have any snack stands or bed and breakfasts up there. It was just a very big, very snowy mountain, surrounded by other mountains. In fact, the expedition team had 10,000 pounds of gear with them for the journey. That is 5 tons that they took with them for the trip! Not to mention the dangers… if you fell down, it was quite a production of ropes and pulleys to make sure you didn’t plummet to your death.
If someone who has faced those dangers says, “It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves,” wouldn’t you listen? You can imagine that he had to face many fears and relied deeply on his trust in his own abilities. If Edmund Hillary, human being, can conquer real mountains, you can conquer metaphorical mountains……..all the things in your life that you wonder whether you will ever get through, large and small.
Hillary was not only courageous, but also quite humble. He reported that both he and his guide Tenzing had reached the top together, but in Tenzing Norgay’s memoir, he states that it was Hillary who clearly took the first steps at the very summit. Edmund Hillary was also a philanthropist. After his successful ascent, he established the Himalyayan Trust and helped build hospitals and schools to help the Sherpa people of Nepal.