When your quads and calf muscles are talking to you every step, you know you are experiencing a “burner.” I saw this reference when reading a trail report. After researching name Google had no idea where it came from, but I think it is perfect word for describing climbing a mountain that is extremely steep.
This term is once again something that parallels life. We all have challenges to meet, but when something takes all of your focus and effort then that something can be called a burner.
Dirty Harry’s Peak is a Burner
Recently I climbed Dirty Harry’s Peak here in the northwestern United States. It is named for an infamous logger. Obviously if this mountain qualifies as a burner then that means it is very hard by definition.
There are two things that make Dirty Harry’s Peak stand out. First and foremost are the last two miles. It is a little over four and a half miles to the top which is no so bad, but those last two miles are straight up. Two miles is a long way to be going straight up. The second standout for this mountain is the top itself. Even when you reach the top you are surrounded by trees. You can see little views, but that’s it until you step out onto the peak itself. Really it is a cliff. The trail ends. One more step and you’re gone. Even at the peak the view is not a 360, but it is just fine.
Being Unemployed is a Burner
At the beginning of the 2008 recession I was unemployed. At the time I was in my sixties so pretty young, right? Still, getting a job in your sixties is harder than when you are younger. The first thing you have to do is dye your hair. Nobody will even listen if they see a gray haired person walk in the room. I applied to hundreds of companies, did tons of interviews, and came up with nothing. Then I would get a job that lasted maybe three months. This went on for some time. It took me four years to find a reasonably stable job.
This is a personal example of a burner in life. It takes all of you to meet the challenge. You need to have a positive outlook and be adaptable. If you do this then you can look back and say, “that was a real burner.”