Two Driven Women Looking for Their Next Goal

Submitted by Nancy

Mountain: Mt. Equinox (3,848 feet high)
Date: November 29, 2008
Time: 4 hours
Miles: 5.8 miles
Elevation Gain: +2,880 feet
Steps: 17,055
Trails: Burr & Burton Trail out and back

Capricorns -- The sure-footed Mountain Goat can climb to higher altitudes than any other mammal. And you sure-footed Capricorns are also well suited for climbing. You set high goals for yourself and then you overcome whatever obstacles may appear between you and the top of your personal mountain. As you climb the ladder of success, your ambition pushes you forward. Status can be important to you and often, at the top of your game, you gain personal satisfaction by knowing that others respect you for what you have accomplished.
From Zodiac Central at - (Pat and I are both Capricorns!!)

If you're bored with life -- you don't get up every morning with a burning desire to do things -- you don't have enough goals.
      Lou Holtz

When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life.
    Greg Anderson

Oh no! Pat and I have temporarily run out of hiking goals! Does it matter? Do we really need them? Isn't there enough goal setting in the professional world without having to set goals in our personal lives?


On November 29, we climb Mt. Equinox. We decide on this mountain in Manchester, Vermont, one of the 100 highest in New England, because it is near a great breakfast place, has 2,800 feet of elevation gain in less than three miles, and is only an hour and a half drive away.

We arrive in the morning and reminisce about our first hike up Equinox as we set out. This time, both Pat and I know what to expect -- a pretty steep and unrelenting climb from bottom to top. We are ready for it. It seems easier this time, shorter and less cold. We make it up and down the mountain in four hours and drive home.

When I walk into my house, I am hit with a moment of sadness when I realize I don't have a mountain to check off on a list. I feel a heaviness that I have not felt before. I realize that completing our original goal of climbing the 67 4,000-footers in New England, which we did in October, is a beautiful blessing and an incredible loss. By completing the list we no longer have the dream to propel us forward. I feel empty, lost and without purpose.

We will never stop climbing the mountains in New England. Never. The challenge, their beauty and our healing have bonded us to these mountains like superglue. They are part of us now. We will keep going back to find new trails and unseen vistas through all of the glorious seasons. But the mountains are not new any more. They don't hold the same untouchable majesty and challenge tinged with fear as they did before I stood on their peaks for the first time. When they were goals, I wasn't sure I could get to the top. The entire experience was all new. And that in itself is such a gift. There is great mystery and anticipation when we are entering into the unknown. What will it be like? Can we do it? Will it be really hard? The excitement of new adventure and the thrill of discovering what we are made of makes me feel so incredibly, profoundly alive.

The bottom line is I live for meaning. And I found meaning in big exciting goals like hiking the 67 4000 footers in New England and a rim-to-rim-to-rim in the Grand Canyon. On these hikes I discovered a best friend, faced my fears, found healing, saw unimaginable beauty and experienced an overwhelming sense of wellbeing for the first time in my life. And I want more!

Since hiking Equinox, I am tossing and turning in life, walking around half-hearted and disoriented, struggling to identify my next dream. What new big challenge can I find to fill me now? What will feed me for the next few years? What will keep me pushing, learning, growing, writing and healing?

I realize as I write this that goals are not just goals. They are necessities, requirements for healthy living and key to my happiness. They are dreams and hope and inspiration all mixed together into an essential daily vitamin for my soul. Having goals says that there is always an opportunity for more life - more challenge, more beauty, more fear, more learning, more joy, more healing, more love. I need them. I can't live my life fully without goals.

So I decide to just do it - write the list. Figure out what our next goals are and make the commitment. So here it is. These goals are promises to myself that I will give life all I have to give and never never stop. Now I can rest.


Tufts 10K
Falmouth Road Race
Cranberry Run
4 on the 4th
1/2 Marathon

Finish "100 highest in New England" List
Hike Rim-to-River-to-Rim in One Day -- Grand Canyon
Start hiking 4,000-footers in NH with Karma, my golden retriever
Continue hiking 48 4,000 footers in NH in winter


Tufts 10K
Falmouth Road Race
Cranberry Run
4 on the 4th

Finish Hiking "The 52 with a View" List
Hiking 4,000 footers in NH with Karma
14,000-footer in Colorado?
Continue hiking 48 4,000 footers in NH in winter


In development...