What I learned while hiking Mt Borah

The day we drove to the base of Mount Borah to camp for our early morning start, I was nervous. Like really nervous. The 3.5 hour drive did not bother me (I was not driving on the way there) and camping was not a problem. 


I was nervous about the height and exposure of the hike. Vertigo is my demon. What am I afraid of??! Being above tree lines The horizon lines. 

This is what happens when vertigo hits me; I sit and cry while I shake uncontrollably, and if I don’t sit down right away then I’ll pass out. Certainly not something that is beneficial while on a mountain trail at a high elevation.


Now, because of my career I take the metaphysical aspect into account too (looking at emotions and pains as a guide to what else is happening in life - the mental aspect brought into physical manifestation) I know what vertigo is all about. A crippling fear of moving forward - yikes!! This was on my mind too, which was not helping me at the moment.


With the metaphysical aspect on my mind, I decided to do more research on the trail itself thinking that would help calm my nerves. 

Nope. It made them worse. 

I also took some meditation time to check in with myself. Asking if it was even in my best interest to go. I find it best to trust my own intuition even more in situations like this.

Answers: Yes. Best for me to go, and expand myself more. But be happy and trust in my decisions about when to turn back. 


Let me add here

Last year I was on an adventure that I wanted to do to push myself, to expand my boundaries. And I ended up being in WAY over my head. With that adventure I did not do much prep work as to routes because I totally trusted the people I went with. They were not the issue, it was totally me. I take full responsibility for being under prepared, and for being in over my head in that adventure. What did I learn? Never do that again, but that I am also much more powerful than I give myself credit for.


Now I need to add a little more into all of this too

I am 53 (when I wrote this), and for the last couple of years I have been starting menopause. Not a big deal really, it just makes my body hurt. Like pretty bad. Any stress exacerbates and compounds those painful joints and muscles. 

None of this is a major deal, apart from when I am on adventures and everything gets hit harder within my body. 


The morning of the hike

4:30 am came quickly, especially after being awakened by someone’s car alarm going off at midnight. Many people drive to the trailhead and camp for the night in one of the 6 spots, which is what we did. Someone just set off their alarm, which must echo for miles in the dead of night in the Idaho mountains.

Anyway, 6a.m.; we were fed, suited up with backpacks and water, and our caffeine intake was good. We were on the trail! Headlamps guiding us, up and up the easy to follow, yet steep trail.


The hike was difficult, yet manageable and enjoyable. About 1.5 hours into the hike I had my first bout with vertigo. My right hip was a bit sore, so I decided it would be good to rest my hip and ease the feelings of vertigo. I sat down on a log then saw the horizon line … then I felt the tears of fear start. I used all of my many years of breath work training to calm myself (yay for my career). And it worked. So I got up and continued up that ever steeper, higher trail.


Another hour of incline with the trees becoming more sparse. Then, I had to sit again. Breathing in and out slowly, allowing the tears to happen while I slowed my mind into a more soothed corner of comfort. I kept my vision focused on the trail, using my hat to block the horizon line from my sight.

It worked.

I carried on.

We decided to stop for a bite to eat in an emergency shelter built along the way. Being that I had looked at the trail in advance, I knew what was coming up. I double checked with my husband as he was on his 3rd trip conquering Borah. Yes, I was correct with where the trail went next, and I was not going to continue. Seeing that open view above the tree line was enough for me. I knew my son and husband wanted to summit the peak, and I did not. I made the choice to head back to our camp.


9 a.m. and at 8,000 feet I began down the well worn path while they carried on to the summit. Another 5-7 hours of hiking and around 4000 more feet of elevation gain for them.

I even stopped for a meditation along the way

My trip down was filled with smiles and a deep sense of gratitude. My confronting my fears in a mindful, controlled fashion made a difference. I pushed myself for ME, not for anyone else.


I was able to head down WITHOUT vertigo!!

I felt safe and I was able to enjoy the view with my descent. Wow! Zero vertigo while heading down was a first for me. I smiled and took my hat off to enjoy the exquisite horizon line. The realization of my own deepening power, the vastness of my being, knowing how small I am on such a large piece of rock. All of it was humbling and awe inspiring for me.

I looked across the valley into the next range, no tears of fear or feelings of falling down with adrenaline robbing me of even more strength as my muscles quiver in near collapse.

YAY me!

I am happy I turned back when I did. I have no regrets as I pushed myself to a breaking edge and carried on with love of myself.


Back at camp by 11:20 a.m., enjoying the flies and critters being themselves, yet on the outside of the tent, while I stretch on the inside allowing them to be them, and me to be me. I stretched my body and enjoyed the flat ground for some Tai Chi. 

I am forever thankful for all of my martial arts training, both hard and soft arts. Thanks to you 

Master Pearl for being a part of my 'remaining stable on my feet' in times that are tough, physically and mentally. 

I took time for myself at camp. I did a deep dive into my subconscious allowing for emotions to flow and become a part of my change. The change into a more profound, powerful me. Not only how this profound power affects me personally, but how this affects the way I run my business. For me, hiking is more than just the physical. It is the emotional, conscious and subconscious, and the metaphysical.


What have I learned about running a business while sitting in vertigo fear?

  • That’s it’s ok to go very slow. 
  • Stop to look around and get my bearings again. 
  • Breathe and become comfortable with the view of where I am now.
  • Self employment can offer crippling fear and it also brings the most profound delights of self awe. 
  • I am much stronger than what I think, and I always have been. Mentally and physically.
  • Trust in myself MORE especially when I am afraid.
  • Being my own LEADER is super cool.
  • Focus really does help - breathing is a wonderful way to narrow my focus.


Trust your gear!!! My advice to help you!

This is wise advice for life and for running a business.

In business

  • Trust in the business systems that are set up. Change them if needed, without allowing crippling fear to stop you.
  • Trust in the people you have working for you.
  • Trust your intuition.


In personal life

  • Trust the people in your life. If they say they love you, then believe them!! Allow yourself to climb further with love and support.
  • If you don’t have people that are trustworthy, then make some changes. Maybe it is time to head down another mountain?!


Crippling fear is dangerous and not very proactive in business, and in life. Fear that you hit like a brick wall, yet get up and carry on. That's the good stuff of life.

Thanks for being on this journey with me. Hit your brick wall and carry on with profound self love!





Here are some details about Mt Borah


Oh, and this is a photo that my son took of me while hiking. It really represents how I felt on the hike, and is soooo funny to look at. With all of this, I do need to keep a sense of humor, right??


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