Musing on a Tattoo

I have this tattoo under my breasts, shaped like the underwire of a bra, if you will. It reads, (On both sides)

“There Are Inspiring Goals in Life,”  …. (other side) …. “And Then There Are Mountains.”

I obviously don’t see these tattoos very frequently; they are small, and in a place that I’m not constantly examining. However, I placed them close to Anahata, (the fourth chakra, also referred to as the heart chakra) because that is the place they felt right.

“There are inspiring goals in life, and then there are mountains.”

The weight of those words are immense. Of all the goals in my life, the ones that truly test my character, truly challenge my brain, my grace, my elegance, my ability to conquer myself- of all my goals, climbing a mountain or a cliff is the most demanding, the most meaningful.


Years ago, a very dear friend of mine gave me (of all things) a bottle cap with a Jim Whittaker quote on it. I had not heard from this person in so long, but they sought me out in order to give it to me because they felt it was something I needed to see. The quote is, “You never conquer a mountain. Mountains can’t be conquered; you conquer yourself– your hopes, your fears.”

I was surprised at how much I identified with that bottle cap, and Whittaker’s quote.

This was prior to me being introduced to the tattoo quote.

What does that simple phrase mean to me? It means that no matter what I do, no matter what tangible goal I set for myself, none is more noble than the conquering of my Self and knowledge, none is more noble than the true challenge to my character, when I am climbing a mountain.

Tonight I am feeling the need to plan a trip to get out to a mountain and conquer my Self, my character, and my ability to do something that has absolutely no tangible gain other than being sore the next day.

There are inspiring goals in life, and then there are mountains.


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