Triumph Over Mountains

Be Strong Like Alec

About a month ago, my friend Alec Gustafson was in a bad mountain bike accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Everyday I read updates on Facebook from his wife Emily and brother Eric. Their messages are of love, hope, faith, and courage. They inspire me to stay focused on the important things of life and to never take a day for granted. Each day prayers are answered and little miracles occur for Alec. It strengthens my resolve to do better in life and look for ways to be strong like Alec.

I have been wondering what I could do to lift his spirit. Luckily, Alec and I like to ski and carry around GoPros. Below is a video of our journey to the top of the Lake Chute. I'll never forget watching him as he made it to the summit. I'm grateful I had my GoPro on to capture this moment. As you watch the video, you'll see the resolve and power of Alec's soul.

Here are a few words of encouragement to my dear friend Alec and others who are currently facing tough life challenges. 

My Tribute to Alec Gustafson

My dear friend Alec, 

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You're currently fighting a battle and guess what - you’re a fighter. And even more than that, you’re a friend to many and you’re my friend. And in this life that is tough, unfair, and many times unforgiving, you’re the type of friend we all need. The type of friend that makes the world better.

Now comes this new journey, this next mountain to climb. And guess what, you know a thing or two about climbing mountains. Mountains are big, steep, and require you to dig deep to conquer them. And guess what, you love to conquer them. You love to climb them and reach their peaks.

As you know well, climbing mountains teaches you to never stop trying, no matter how tough it gets. Because there’s no way to reach the summit if you stop moving forward. And even if you can only move forward a few feet at a time, you know it’s worth it. Because moving forward up mountains brings you one step closer to breathtaking views. The places where only a few people stand.

This time, approaching this mountain, it’s different, because we’re coming with you. Hundreds and thousands of people are on their knees praying for you. And you can feel it. Your determination to live, fight, and conquer this mountain inspires us. You inspire us to move forward. You inspire us to confront our challenges like you confront yours. You inspire us to live each day with a smile. You inspire us to find ways to lift others and lighten their loads. You inspire us to love and appreciate the small things of life. To focus on people, not possessions.

For in this life, through our challenges and the mountains we climb, we learn what truly matters. So we embark on this new journey, to climb this new mountain with you, every day, no matter what it takes. We have your back, like you’ve had ours.

This mountain will test us, humble us, and bring us to our knees. It will require faith, hope, and courage. The courage to move forward even though faced with obstacles. The courage to push through the difficult times even when faced with doubt. The courage to forget ourselves and rise up to help others. We are with you, moving one foot in front of the other to conquer this mountain. 

We can feel your love and hear your voice. We can hear you say that we must rise each time we fall. That everything will be ok, as long as we keep smiling. That laughter cures sadness. That you love us and pray for our happiness. That you know our Heavenly Father lives and loves us.

And that no matter what happens to us in this life, that this is just the start of our great journey, for families and friends are eternal. 

Your Friend,

Burke Alder