One of my very first friends, Erik, tweeted the following photo of him recently on top of Castle Peak at 14,265 ft. Erik is currently a football coach at Michigan Tech, and without a doubt, was the first person in my life to exhibit how to dominate on a daily basis. Him and I competed in sports for a number of years before eventually becoming teammates through middle school and high school. He brings a tenacity to competition that I have never seen replicated at they same intensity.
I have yet to climb a mountain, but I have found this journey with cancer to be a similar experience. It is quite a hike and very dangerous at times, a wild adventure to say the least. If you choose to look down in the valley for too long, you can instantly be succumbed by fear and doubt. You realize how fragile your life really is. But......
Through perseverance and the support of others, you keep climbing. One foot after the next. At times you focus on your breathing, and others, you just want to give up. But that's not a solution for those who choose to dominate. Rather, it's an opportunity to compete on the stage of life. And eventually, there's an opportunity to move from just surviving, to thriving.
And although I have yet make it to the top in my own cancer journey, I must say it's because of people like Erik who have come alongside me and showed me what it means to dominate that I am able to keep so positive, and to remain competitive in some of the most challenging hours.
What's life without climbing a few mountains along the way? When we get to the top, man, what a sight it will be.