September 29 ~  Pursue Your Passion To the Summit

"I realized that in the end every summit boils down to what you're willing to risk to pursue your passion and make your dreams come true." ~ Stacy Allison

With passion and courage, on this day in 1988, mountain climber Stacy Allison (1958-) became the first American woman to stand at the peak of Mt. Everest, the highest point on earth.

At the summit she recalled thinking, "I was wide open now, and I was aware of everything... I was standing on the top, looking down at the world."

Born in Portland, Oregon, Allison became interested in mountain climbing at a young age. "Climbing is how I express myself," she said.

In her early days, she climbed Utah's Zion National Park, then successfully scaled Mt. McKinley, Pik Kommuninizma in Russia, and Ama Dablan, Nepal's 22,488-foot challenge.

"I've always had those little goals that I've worked toward--They add up," she said.

Her rise to the top of the 29,035-foot Everest came 35 years after Sir Edmund Hillary's first ascent. And it was her second try. In 1987, winds of 150 MPH kept her just 3,000 feet from the top.

But the tenacious Allison persevered. Just a year later, she made it up Hillary's South Ridge.

"Only when we accept full responsibility for our lives will we have the confidence and courage to risk," said Allison who runs her own construction business and is a corporate motivational speaker.

What are you willing to risk to pursue your passion?