About this sponsorship: Patch has teamed up with Grape-Nuts cereal on this "What’s Your Mountain” campaign to find inspirational stories in our towns and celebrate folks who have affected positive change in their lives and communities.
A life without goals is like a journey without a destination.
In May 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary aimed high: the top of Mount Everest, Earth’s tallest mountain. Then he famously became one of the first climbers to reach the summit. To commemorate the 60th anniversary of Hillary’s epic goal achievement, Patch has partnered with Grape-Nuts' "What's Your Mountain" campaign, inspiring today's adventurers to strive to reach their own goals.
Setting a goal is the first step towards achieving your ideal future. Want to look great at your high-school reunion next fall? Maybe your goal is to start a three-day-a-week exercise regimen, or to get back to your high school dress size.
Whatever your big-picture vision, experts agree that having a clearly defined goal is necessary for lasting change: A goal gives you something to work for, and something to celebrate.
Last week, we asked readers, "What's your mountain?" Here's what a few of them had to say:
"Finishing undergraduate degree with very small children, getting M.S. (no, not MRS! already had that one), then going to law school while kids were 11 and 13. Many, many thanks to my husband and kids. Then surviving Stage 4 lymphoma with bone marrow transplant, too-- thanks to the same folks, plus my brother, sister, and friends!" --Frances Martin, Caledonia Patch.
"I was 17 when my father passed away from cancer. My mother has had three types of cancer and survived. I went through years of infertility before being able to have children. One of my sons was born with a bad kidney and had it removed when he was only 7 months old.
What gets me through? Knowing my Heavenly Father loves me and wants me to be happy. I recently attended a conference where the speaker said, 'Suffering is mandatory, but misery is optional.' The trials of our life are where we learn to be compassionate to others; where we learn humility; where we learn that we can be strong and overcome difficulties." --Michele Divelbiss, Menomonee Falls Patch.
Protested education in a blue collar home
"The biggest challenged I've ever faced is growing up in a negative home that didn't encourage education. My parents felt we were blue collar people and that's how I should live my life despite my academic success. While there is nothing wrong with being blue collar, I had dreams and despite my parents wishes I left home at 18, went to college and despite more protests, obtained an advanced degree. I now work as a successful professional." --FranklinParent, Greenfield Patch.
"We all experience not only the high points but also the struggles and challenges of life. This one is a difficult story to share, but it is also filled with hope and optimism. In 2007, I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma—for the second time. My story doesn’t begin or end there.
Sixteen years ago, I was a salesperson and lived for commissions. Unable to fulfill their dreams of starting a family, my first wife and I lived in a condo, traveled a lot, and lived a carefree life. It was fun and exciting, but a lot revolved around money and we eventually discovered that we weren’t truly satisfied. As is often the case, it took something really big to steer us back in the direction we both desired. In 1991, I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and, within one year, quit the high paying—high pressure—job, accepted an entry-level position, sold the condo, and bought a fixer-upper. Soon after, Teresa and I began the adoption process and welcomed baby Alex into our lives. I also beat the cancer.
Flash forward to the 2007 diagnosis. I vowed that I wouldn’t let it beat me. I continued to run eight miles and do my other exercises every day, even during the days I went through chemo therapy. It’s about how to live through adversity with grace and dignity and it’s an opportunity to show everyone else who you are. You have to go through it anyway, so you might as well do it with style. I beat cancer the second time; if it shows up again, I’m ready." --John Nuck, Oak Creek Patch.
Lasting impressions from five months in Ecudaor
"Bought a plane ticket to Quito, Ecuador. After (about) 24 hours and (about) 45 minutes before landing, I figured it might be wise to start making friends since I have no idea what the hell I am doing or where I am going and I don't speak Spanish. Didn't work out. We land (at about) 8:30 p.m. and the 'airport' is deserted. Everyone does their own thing and I pull out a travellers check to change currency and find a taxi. I hand him a piece of paper that says 'Foch Y Juan Leon Mera,' my destination for accommodations. As we are driving, my head is spinning thinking, 'What happens if I die?'
We pull up, I get out and head into the Magic Bean hostel, a converted house run by an American. I ask people how long it will take before I will be able to understand/communicate (with) people, since no one speaks English, and am told it will take (approximately) one month.
Came and went. In the meantime, I managed to make my way through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile down to Puntas Arenas and cut back through Argentina via bus (mostly), Plane, train and boat (with) the help of My Lonely Planet Guide and South American Handbook. Saw some amazing, eye opening as well as depressing and shocking sights, took some amazing and not so amazing excursions, suffered severe food poisoning in Peru, eaten alive by bed bugs in Lima/Mosquito's (and) biting flies in Bolivia, thwarted off pickpockets on the subway in Santiago.
(Five-and-one-half) months later, made my way back to the US. Greatest thing I have ever done.
Be grateful for what you have." --Absolutelyfabulous, Bayside.
So whether you are trying to get fit, vowing to read more or maybe spending less, we want to know about it! What summits are you trying to reach?
Share your goals in the comments section below or upload a photo that shows us how you are getting there.