Sometimes you just need to climb that hill!

hill metaphor

It was wet, windy and very cold and that was at the bottom of the hill I’m looking up at. It wasn’t a terribly big hill but I knew it would need considerable effort and perhaps some temporary pain. Whilst the rain splashed onto our jackets and the wind howled, Chris and I looked at each other and we almost simultaneously said “do we really want to go up that in this weather?”  Oh yes ……. no pain, no gain! So we went up the hill and it hurt.  Up there, it was wetter, windier and colder! However, the ‘euphoric high’ was worth it.  It was like medicine healing the body and mind.

The 'euphoric high' is kicking in!
The ‘euphoric high’ is kicking in!

Of course, the ‘hill’ is also a metaphor which might be a number of things from simply venturing outside the house to a full-blown adventurous holiday. It might be a simple bit of gardening, a walk to the shops (mall), 30 minutes on a treadmill at a leisurely pace.  Or it might be something more physically demanding like a marathon. It doesn’t even need to be anything physical, for example, starting a diary, trialling a change in diet, learning about specific aspects of your condition. In general, the “hill” is a state of mind and you metaphorically climb it to fight cancer and improve quality of life.

Whatever your ‘hill’ is, two of the common elements required to ‘climb it’ are motivation and willpower. However, if you’re fighting cancer and you’re being affected by the symptoms or the side effects of treatment, it can be easy to opt to stay within your ‘comfort zone’ even though you know the ‘hill‘ might do you some good. I suspect this is a common predicament for a cancer patient, do I ‘climb that hill’ or do I walk away? Sure, I walk away from the “hill” occasionally but I try not to make a habit of it.

My personal hill metaphor is actually a hill but yours can be something else as described above.

Go and climb that hill!

Thanks for reading

Ronny Allan

The original edition of this blog was featured by Macmillan

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Ronny Allan is an award winning patient leader and advocate for Neuroendocrine Cancer.



Author: Ronny Allan

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6 thoughts on “Sometimes you just need to climb that hill!”

  1. Hi Ronny,
    I am a 42 year old mum of two. I lost my lower left love to NET cancer last April. Since New Year I have been using the Couch to 5K running app to improve my fitness. I hope to be able to run 5K by the first anniversary of my lung opp. I live in Yorkshire and the hills are a killer!

    Best Wishes
    Kerry Bainbridge

  2. Love this post, Ronny! I know exactly what you mean. My latest “hill” was a 10 day tour of Israel during which we did a lot of walking and climbing. At Bet She’an in Galilee, where we climbed 163 stairs (yes, I counted) to look down on the amazing ruins below and the view beyond, I was reminded how fortunate I am to still be able to do such things. I will not give up and hide out in my comfort zone!

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