Greater Danger Does Not Mean Greater Glory

You don’t have to free-solo the north face of the Eiger to reap the challenge and reward of climbing the mountain.

I love to climb mountains (I really do) but I’ll happily do it with harness.

Sometimes overcoming the fear is the reward. You decide “I don’t want to be afraid of this anymore”. The payoff is freeing yourself from the control of an apparent external force by undertaking an internal journey.

Yet you have to actually take and succeed at the journey to have a chance at the view. If the danger is too great that either A. you never brave putting a foot on the path. Or B, when you do, you die. You’ll never see the top.

Mitigating the danger doesn’t make you less dashing. It increases the chance that you’ll actually start and, after starting, finish.

Simply adding risk doesn’t add reward. Climbing the face with a safety rope takes no less skill than without. Climbing *is* a skill, and trust me, you’ll have a hard time getting much practice in if the first time you fail is your last.

Being aware of risk, and planning appropriately, or choosing to take smaller risks to ascend in a gentler arc, doesn’t make you a coward, and it doesn’t reduce your accomplishment. Especially if making risk manageable, makes action possible.

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