“Feeling on Top of the World” …. Why hills inspire me



So, I’ve been down to Devon for a week and after sitting at the top of my favourite hill I’ve been reflecting on what they mean to me. As the acclaimed singer/songwriter Miley Cyrus once wrote “Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side, it’s the climb”.

Life in many ways can be compared to running hills, a daunting prospect and an uphill battle, but, equally a sense of achievement once you have reached your own personal summit. On any other day I’d be too busy pushing myself to limit any lost time on the way up and then concentrating on my foot placement for as quick a descent as possible going down. However, when you’re sitting there with the warm breeze blowing and the world passing by below then there’s time to reflect on what a hill represents.

Just by their very size and the fact that they dominate the skyline, hills have a presence, they make a statement, you can almost hear them say, “We were here first and we aren’t moving, scale us if you can, or take the longer route around us” !! But, at the same time hills can be tamed and taught a lesson, so my reply is …. “I will shorten my stride and step by step I will reach the top”.

Run if you can, walk if you have to, the secret is just to keep moving and before you know it, even if it takes a while, you will have met the challenge that you’ve just set yourself. The sense of pride, the rush of adrenaline and the knowledge that you have tried and succeeded are all channelled into one simple reaction, a great big smile 🙂 Once you are armed with the knowledge that hills are no longer your enemies, then they can become your friends, and there’s no stopping you from that point onwards. The effects on your legs and your breathing are simply your “inner hill spirit” coming out.

I’ve noticed the light and the sun are strangely different at the top of a hill, especially at sunrise and sunset so in order to experience hills at their best, either go early or late to capture that spirit and make them your friends, while feeling on top of the world.

The photos in this blog are from Cobben Hill near Barnstaple which is 629 feet above sea level and gives you views or Exmoor, Dartmoor and the North Devon coast. Go and find your hill 🙂


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