This final video is just below the summit. It really gives a…

This final video is just below the summit. It really gives a great feeling of the exposure and the climb.

As I reached the summit, I recalled the words of my first climbing instructor, Lanny Johnson, when I was a kid. He took me to Yosemite and I was awe struck as we entered the Valley and gained our first glimpse of El Capitan. He took me to the meadow below and started to point out The Nose Route. I was in disbelief when I saw a pair of climbers and realized the scale of the monolith.

As we talked, a couple of climbers walked by loaded with wall gear returning from The Nose. Lanny said, “How was the route?”. One of the two replied, “Well we decided to bail after the second day. We were just nailing and hauling all day long day after day and we decided it was boring.” Lanny smiled and wished them a relaxing day back on the ground.

After they departed, Lanny looked to me and said, “When you decide to climb El Capitan, you just have to commit to it and then do it. With every move every day there will be a thousand reasons to turn around… You’ll be scared, the weather will be questionable, you’ll wonder if you have the right gear… But hold on to your commitment and you’ll reach the summit.”

I still vividly remember his words. They stuck with me and guided me through my first ascent when I was 19, and they returned again during this ascent at 49. I also realized that they have guided me in many different aspects of my life beyond climbing. My commitment has been my guiding light in starting businesses, in growing non-profits, in athletics, and in my education.

Often in life there are a thousand reasons to turn around and not follow through, and only one reason to continue- one’s commitment to do so.

July 16, 2012 | Emily Moeschler
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