The Definition of Courage

I occasionally write about climbing mountains. Not only is it one of my favorite things to do, but climbing makes a nice metaphor for a lot of the things we talk about here.

Goal setting. Hard work. Determination. Fear. CourageFailure. Success. Fear, againDisappointment. Hope. Uncertainty. PatienceCommitment. Challenging yourself. Experimenting.

I once wrote that climbing was my greatest teacher. I still think that’s true.


One of the things climbing has taught me the most about is fear. Fear and courage. The difference between them. The fact that you can’t be courageous unless you are afraid.

I used to believe that climbing was about courage and glory and the triumph of reaching a summit against the odds.

I used to think fear was complicated. I thought courage was a personality trait.

That was before I became a climber. Now I know better.

Courage is not a personality trait. Courage is a choice. – Click to Tweet!

Climbing has taught me that the summit does not define us.

We are defined by the simple act of going toward our challenges.

That’s the definition of courage. And you don’t need a mountain for that.