Some Bullshit About Mountains and A Huge Thank You!

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I love climbing mountains. I love it, but I hate it. I am not an experienced or technical climber (I do hope to be one day, though), but I’ve climbed enough to know why I hate it and why I love it. The highest I’ve climbed to is 16,404 feet or 5,000 meters -- the height doesn’t really matter though. The hardest ones aren't necessarily the highest ones. I’m rambling on about mountains because I think they are great analogy for life. Absolutely nothing worthwhile is obtained easily and if it is, it is not appreciated.

A great example of this occurred on our May retreat to Ireland. One of the days included a quick detour to the Cliffs of Moher, a breathtaking 700 feet of raw and  rugged sheer cliff face forged by the violently rough Atlantic ocean. An unquestionably amazing place to be. However, you can’t shake the anticlimactic feeling of being there. I understand that feeling though. The reward was not earned. We simply drove to the parking lot and shared the sight with thousands of other tourists (don’t worry our retreats are really off the tourist path and this is a one-off stop on our many days of adventure….shameless plug for our September retreat).


Compare this to our last retreat day climbing Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest mountain. The scenery is also breathtaking, surreal actually. I’ve climbed it a handful of times and it still never seems real to me. The key difference? Knowing that I have to work extremely hard to get to that point. I can’t just drive up, hop out of the car and take a picture. You earn the feeling.

I apply this analogy to everything I’m doing. I often use it with clients who say a particular move, or class is too easy. Well, then you're not doing it right. You're just driving up to the parking lot and taking a picture. You're not making a connection with the movement and working through the whole process. You're just mindlessly going through the motions. Well guess what? It’s not worthwhile then.

Most recently I’ve been saying this to myself over and over again. ‘Nothing worthwhile is easy’, ‘Nothing worthwhile is easy’. I’ve been repeating this mantra to myself, because I've just completed the construction of my gym. Hanuman Health Club’s first real home. It started 4 years ago in Inwood Hill Park on a wet May morning and now we are at the realization of my dream -- a facility designed by me to fit with my philosophy of blending traditional and non traditional strength training with movement based practices. Is it the top of my mountain? Maybe, maybe not but it is definitely going to be base camp for me and my goals for years to come. The final push to this peak was incredibly hard. I have been stressed beyond belief. I have literally put blood, sweat and tears into this dream...not to mention my life savings. At least once a week over the last 2 months I would say to myself “F##K This, I’m just going to walk away from this. I will forfeit the deposit, this is too hard, I can’t do this”. I'm sure everyone who has opened their own business, especially one without investors, has felt this level of stress. But again nothing worthwhile is easy.


Now that I am writing this in our brand new home, I can finally breathe a little. I can reflect on how grateful I am to be able to do this. I can reflect on how grateful I am that we have such an amazing community with amazing members who are so loyal and helpful. As much as I can say I did this all by myself, I did absolutely nothing by myself. I did it with all of you, clients and friends who saw the vision and supported the vision. Clients who came with me through the park, from temporary home to temporary home. Tiny homes, big homes, freezing cold homes, sweltering hot homes, dirty homes and then back to the park again. To 110% humidity days, to the bug infested woods, to cancelled classes. All of this and never did I hear any real complaints. I like to think that you put up with all of this and put up with me, because you see this as your home. Because you know that I have always only ever wanted to provide the best service I possibly can to the people of my favorite neighborhood.

So while I can wax on poetic about climbing mountains, the truth is I never climb them alone. I usually have a friend who is pushing me to get to the top and in this case, that friend is all of you. I am forever and always grateful for this community. I hope you all know that and I hope you all love your new home as much as I do!

-Eoghan O'Kelly