You wake to the sound of your alarm, rub your eyes and check the time. It feels like you just fell asleep and probably because you did. Your watch reads 4 am.

Your camp pillow and warm sleeping bag are making the argument that you should stay here, in the tent. You hit snooze and briefly consider taking them up on the offer.

Sure, it would be more comfortable to sleep in, to not force yourself to eat another Clif bar and to not brace the cold wintery winds outside. The alarm sounds again and you think to yourself, “why do I do this?”.

Your legs ache from the previous day’s hike.

The cold wind hits your face, your breath makes a cloud in your headlamp light as you unzip the tent door, and for a moment you consider crawling back into your sleeping bag.

Your skis gliding through the skin track and the swish of your pants make up the soundtrack of the morning.

As the sun starts to rise over the mountain ridge, it warms your face and you quickly forget the comfort of the tent.

Then, you gaze up at the line you came all this way for and you wonder how you found yourself at the bottom of an icy couloir.

You dance the line of continuing on and giving up. The blisters on your feet tell you to turn around, but the mountains that surround you encourage you to keep going.

You know that it’s this dance between the known and the unknown that keeps you coming back for more.

And this isn’t the first time that discomfort has taken you by the hand and led you into the unknown. You do it, again and again, to see where it takes you.

It’s discomfort that leads you to the top of the mountain.

And as the tips of your skis teeter over the edge, it is discomfort that gives you the final push.

It is then that you realize the blisters on your feet will heal and the aching in your legs will fade. But the memories never will and you will be left with the adventure of a lifetime.

Because sure, you’d be more comfortable if you stayed at home or slept in, but you soon learn that discomfort fundamentally changes you. That being uncomfortable is just the price of admission to this dance that we call life.