About a year ago, my cousin posted a photo of himself and his daughter at the top of the Manitou Incline trail in Colorado. Only 1 mile long. 2,744 steps. 2,000 foot elevation gain. The average grade for the trail is 45%, in some places, it's as steep as 68%. The base of the incline sits at 6,600 feet above sea level and finishes at 8,600 feet. Athletes come from all over the world to make the climb.
I'm the kind of person who sees those photos and thinks - I could do that, I'd like to do that. But let's face it, that one mile climb is not for the unprepared or the faint of heart. It takes 3 -4 hours for emergency personnel to reach a hiker who needs help on the trail. It takes workouts and workouts and workouts to get ready. Those of us living at or near sea level need to acclimate to the altitude to make the climb.
Here's the thing. I am doing that climb in the book world. Revising, tweaking, and tightening lines and chapters. Writing query letters and sending off sample pages. The oxygen is thinner up here. Sometimes, it's really, really quiet. I have to breathe deeply to steady myself and keep going. I'm only at the outset, there's still a lot of altitude to conquer. There are going to be some screaming muscles. But, whatever, I'm alive and doing it. And when I remember to pick my head up and look around, the view is fine.