A Human Fellowship

For my friends and family. For Erik Brown and Marilyn Withage. The embodiment of true strength, true friendship, true to themselves.

“All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.”
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Life is all about choice. At the deepest level, everyone has a bit of Frodo and a bit of Sam within them.

Frodo is challenged with carrying a heavy burden, one that he accepts willingly. Why does he accept this quest? Because he is strong. Size doesn’t matter. Size is nothing of importance. It has nothing to do with the trials and tribulations that life challenges us with.

Challenges arise for everyone on this planet. They always have, they always will. A common challenge everyone faces is fear. Fear of the future. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure.

Yielding to fear is strength. Yielding to fear does not mean denying that fear exists. It is the acceptance that fear arises within us. When you yield to fear you acknowledge that you will not be turned aside. You will not back down. You face fear straight on. You face it without opposition.

Like every human being on the quest to fulfill their life’s purpose, Frodo knows what he must do. Journey into Mordor. Into the unknown. A seemingly scary and hostile looking place. Why is it hostile? It is the unknown.

When we let go and accept what we must do, how we want to live, we walk the narrow path into the unknown. It is you and you alone that decides this.

Fear is still within you, but you understand that you must not back down.

Just like Frodo climbing the mountains of Mordor, the challenges of life always appear as mountains. When you climb them you come to an amazing realization, you are the mountain. For who is not a mountain that has the strength to climb it?

Do the things in life that scare you. When you embrace your fears, you are free to live. You no longer ask, Why Me? Instead you say, TRY ME!

Life is full of ups and downs, highs and lows, good and bad. The scary and the unknown. Accept all of these, embrace them. The scary and the unknown become something else entirely.

They show a hidden identity within them. They are beautiful, wondrous and exhilarating.

Never forget, you are not alone. Stay close to your friends and family. See the light shining in their eyes. Know that they support you and believe in you. Your family and friends…will save you in the end.

When you feel like you’re walking alone, they are with you. You follow them, they follow you.

Sam never leaves Frodo. Sam acknowledges Frodo’s courage and bravery. Nearly drowning to stand by his side. The hand that reaches out to save Sam is a true joining. It is love. It is friendship. It is family.

At the deepest level everyone is both of these hobbits. Not small, not insignificant. You realize you are Strong. Brave. Resilient. Realizing this, who could ask for more…

When you no longer fear the mountain you realize an astounding truth. The mountain doesn’t exist. You are the MOUNTAIN.

Michael Popp is a Calgary based Athlete and Entrepreneur. Swimmer, Ironman Triathlete, Life Coach, Adventurer…Ordinary Person!