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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Mayfield, MS, RDN, LD, FAND

What is your “14er”? Part 2

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

mountains in Colorado

After work, today, our oldest son, Joey, along with seven other adventurers (at last count), are driving more than 20 hours from Indiana to Leadville, Colorado. When they arrive on Saturday they will check out the trailhead, have dinner, and sleep for a few hours.

On Sunday, they will rise before dawn to climb Mt. La Plata, which is one of the more than 50 peaks over 14,000 feet in elevation in the state, thus earning the name “14er.” Upon descent, they will begin the 20-hour return trip and complete their adventure before the Labor Day weekend ends.

It's a Type II Adventure.

As Joey and my husband Joe, like to describe the trip, “It's a “Type II Adventure,” miserable to do but fun to talk about later.”

This will make Joey’s 6th 14er. Over his five trips, he’s been accompanied by 30 different hikers. Several have made each hike and several are first-timers each year. You can read about his trip two years ago. Last year Joey skipped making the trip to be in his brother-in-law’s wedding. Good excuse.

If that's a Type II Adventure, what's a Type I Adventure?

This year, my husband Joe and I are making the trip, too. We are not going to climb the mountain, but we will be there to offer support and enjoy the beauty of the Colorado Rockies.

However, we are not part of the 20-hour drive each way. We are making it a 10-day road trip, visiting family and friends along the way to and from a 3-day stay in Leadville. For us, it will be a “Type I Adventure,” fun to do and fun to talk about later!

What is your Type II Adventure? Is it a 14-er or something else?

Rereading my original post, it seemed appropriate to write Part 2 and reflect on my progress on the 14er I described in that post. Let’s revisit that post and describe the outcomes of that climb.

From September 1, 2017: What is your “14er” - that project or undertaking that feels like a mountain to climb? Are you anticipating one… filled with some anxiety as well as excitement? Are you in the middle of one… not sure you can keep on going? Have you finished one? Time to celebrate!!

As I consider the huge writing project I have committed to - helping create the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ book about Nutrition Communication - I am struck by the ways it feels a bit like preparing for a 14er. The peak is high, the trip won’t always be easy, but reaching the summit is oh, so rewarding.

4 steps to make a Type II Adventure into a Type I Adventure:

Whatever “14er” we might face, I believe there are four steps that can make it a “Type I” adventure and change miserable to fun, as well as rewarding:

  1. Cast a vision, but set a deadline. We have set deadlines to write, review, and publish the book by the fall of 2019. Outcome: Our vision is nearing completion! Our publication date is now in 2020, not quite a year later than our original deadline.

  2. Form a team of people eager to take on the mountain, committed to reaching the peak. At last count, 45 nutrition professionals have agreed to serve as contributing authors. The combined expertise is phenomenal! Outcome: Our final count of contributing authors is 57, with dozens more experts serving as reviewers. The resulting manuscript reflects the richness of their knowledge and experience. I am so thankful that I did not attempt the climb solo!!

  3. Break it down into small, manageable tasks. As Mark Twain, puts it, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking down your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” For starters, we have a 33-page outline, a roadmap for writing. Outcome: The final outline of 42 pages turned into a text with over 300,000 words (but who’s counting?).

  4. Train daily. A mountain is climbed one step at a time. Books are written one sentence at a time. Training builds endurance and strength. Practice in any field builds skills. This book will get finished if we don’t give up. Outcome: We didn’t give up and Communicating Nutrition: The Authoritative Guide is now in production! Hurrah!

Think about your “14er” experiences. What helps you reach the summit? If you need someone to join you on your journey, providing encouragement and guidance, be in touch:

If you are facing a “14er” – plan and prepare, and, if you’re like Joey – climb it!

“With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.” ~ Thomas Fowell Buxton

For a list and photos of the Colorado 14ers:

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