Christian Flanders

The Mountain (Learning to program)

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You’re standing at the bottom of a mountain, staring up at people you know on the top, waving you up to come meet them. It looks to you like theres a nice path right to them, and they’re not too high up, so you start climbing. The first little climb is a bit easy. “Oh wow, I’ve totally got this”, you might think to yourself. Maybe you take a quick jog or two just to get your blood flowing. You feel like you’re moving along great, but your legs start to freeze up.  You make it up the hill, sore but ready to keep going. You feel good. You’ve made progress. You think you’re getting closer to your friends, but you look up and see they’re further away now than they looked when you started. Did the mountain get bigger? Or does it just look bigger now?  No time to think about it, just put your head down and keep going. You’ve made it this far, don’t stop now. Keep following the trail. So you start up the next hill. It feels doable.  But you feel yourself moving slower now. Doubt is starting to set in. You make it up the hill, but it took more of a toll on you than you thought.  Your muscles are sore. Every step feels like it takes an eternity. You stop to drink some water. You look up to wave at your friends, let them know you’re on your way, but they’re getting blurrier, harder to see. “Thats weird”, you think to yourself. But you keep following the trail. You’re still pretty sure you’re on the right path. You walk until you reach a fork in the road. They both lead up to the summit, but which is shorter? Which is easier? Which is correct? Maybe they both lead to the same place. You go left. You keep pushing, climbing. The trail is becoming less and less clear now. You can see that you’re still moving up, but you have to push ahead on your own. No more nicely paved trails for you to follow. You have to cut through the brush and make your own way. You keep searching for the path your friends must have taken on their way up, there’s no way they had to deal with all of this. Every time you look forward though, the hill seems to be getting taller. Sometimes you take one step forward and it feels like the hill doubles in size, just to spite you. But you are determined. You fight and fight your way up the hill. Except, now it’s getting foggy ahead of you, and your flashlight can barely light the way. You walk right into a tree that you swear wasn’t there a second ago. Maybe you’re starting to lose it. But you can almost see something ahead. A blur of something. As you get closer, you realize it’s one of your friends! You run up to them happily, and ask if you’ve finally made it to the summit. Your friend turns and looks at you with a smile, saying “Summit? There’s no summit! We just keep climbing.”