The View Is Sweet From 14,000 Feet

I recently had the pleasure of taking a family vacation to one of the greatest places on earth…Colorado.  I have visited that fine state at least every other year since I was nine years old and it truly is a magical place for me.  Everyone knows about the Rocky Mountains but did you know that there are 58 peaks that are 14,000 feet or higher in Colorado?  The locals just call them “14ers.”  To put this into greater perspective, there are 88 total 14ers in the entire United States.  If you want to climb a 14er, Colorado is the place to go.

Here's a self portrait from the top of Mt Uncompaghre in Colorado.

Here’s a self portrait from the top of Mt Uncompaghre in Colorado.

Having crossed the marathon off my bucket list, I’ve recently added “Climbing a 14er” to that list.  I shared that goal with my brother in law and he was more than willing to make my dream come true.  Without sharing every detail of the trip, we ascended the 3,000 feet and 3.5 miles up Mount Uncompaghre for one of the most spectacular views I have ever experienced.

I am convinced that mountain peaks exist purely to give us insight and perspective.  Here’s what I gained:

1. When you climb the highest mountain, all of the lower peaks that seemed so huge from the bottom seem small and insignificant when you’re looking down at them.

2. Everyone should climb to the top of a mountain once in a while and forget about the cares, concerns and stresses in the valley.

3. Riding that fine line between life and death and realizing how small we are is extremely humbling and sobering.  Everyone needs that once in a while.

4. Cell phones work at 14,000 feet.  Ok, we probably could do without that fact but I thought it was funny.

5. When you get to the top, stop talking and look at the BIG picture.  Really! Stop talking and stop doing and just let this gigantic vision work on you for a bit.

6. Celebrate the fact that you achieved a major goal and think about your next one.

Regardless of what your mountain looks like, I hope you’ll take some time in the busy-ness of life to unplug and think about the big picture.  I can almost guarantee that you will gain new perspective on what’s really important down in the valley and you’ll begin to do that stuff better.  I’m back in the valley now but will not soon forget my time up on the mountain.


Jeremy Watkin is a Product Marketing Manager at 8x8. He has more than 19 years of experience as a customer service professional leading high performing teams in the contact center. Jeremy has been recognized numerous times as a thought leader for his writing and speaking on a variety of topics including quality management, outsourcing, customer experience, contact center technology, and more. When not working you can typically find him spending quality time with his wife Alicia and their three boys, running with his dog, or dreaming of native trout rising for a size 16 elk hair caddis. Be sure to connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.


  • Jenny Dempsey

    What an amazing accomplishment, Jeremy! I completely agree that being up above everything really puts things into perspective. Everything is so small when looking down. Maybe this could be a great idea for a team building event…just not 14,000 feet in beautiful Colorado (there are some mountains in SD)!

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