There is definitely a mountain, one for each of us,
Mine is full of rocky crops, slick with ice
And when I think I’ve got a hold on it,
Down I tumble once again.
But once I made it to the top,
I stood atop the summit, looking out across the world,
A tear ran don my cheek, knowing that was it,
I couldn’t reach much higher, all that I could do
Is fall with grace of which I don’t possess.
I have this horrible feeling that, as a human, I may have peaked. But then when I think that, I think exactly how long a lifetime is and how unknowable the future is and I wonder if there is something better still to come.
Back in 2013, I completed the Arch to Arc triathlon. I was the fourth woman to ever complete it and I was the first ever to do it without using a wetsuit during the swim section. It felt like the best thing that could ever happen, and to a certain extent, it still is the best thing. And I wonder if I could ever do anything better?
But then I also remember that I was drinking heavily and I would go back to my flat, alone, and cry as I drank to black out. And I wonder if that wasn’t actually just a living hell with a brilliant achievement plonked in the middle of it?
I’m definitely in a better place, emotionally, so surely I’m higher up my hypothetical mountain at this point in my life. And how long is life going to be? You hear about all sorts of people getting their ‘big break’ when they are past retirement age.
So, I guess what I’m saying is we can never really tell if we’ve peaked. And it’s hard to judge what makes a success. Is it being happy? Or rich? Or famous? I’m not really sure at this point. I don’t think we’ll ever know until we’re lying on our deathbeds looking back on it all.
I hope that there is more to come in the future, but I also realise that chasing that high that comes with success isn’t all that much fun anyway.