Focus on the Rise
In August, I set off on a 3.5 week work/play trip to Europe. Completely depleted from over a year plus of little sleep and the startup hustle, I was more than ready to work in a different space and reconnect with nature and adventure!
My first stop was a solo attempt of Mt. Blanc. In the end, it was a failed attempt due to altitude sickness in a 24 hour push and I ended up having a massive fall when I was just about to rejoin the lower trail that resulted in surgery in October. YET, the biggest learning was the whole time from the fall to post recovery of the surgery, I was always focused on the RISE! I was focused on getting up after I fell, about recuperating my body, about giving not only my body, but my mind time to heal.
To the places that make us braver, spark curiosity, that reveal things within ourselves we didn't know, that make us comfortable in our uncomfort, that instill humility & wonder- thank you. This was one of my favorite pics from my Mt. Blanc climb. It was taken on the descent in the beauty of dawn & when I had special moments to myself in the still of the day. Here there is peace, the noise of our lives dissipates in an instant. Here there is no judgment, perspective is instantly gained, there is only the present. So on my first solo attempt of a biggish mountain-I didn't quite make it. While my altitude sickness didn't ease off and I had to turn close to the summit. The experience was extremely joyful, challenging, & beautiful. It's one of the first times in a long time I could feel happy about not "accomplishing" something but just sitting with the fact that I went for something that my heart wanted and I can sit with the outcome and take the good from it. I knew my approach was aggressive, considering it takes me ages to acclimate, but I had one good weather day window and so it was all or nothing. The weather was perfect, it was one of the most beautiful nights I've spent climbing. The moon was a spectacular red/orange and massive! She lit up the sea of mountains around with an amazing glow. I looked around over and over again taking it all in and so grateful to be there in this place at this time. There were lightening storms off in the distance that were like fireworks celebrating the day ahead. I had some wonderful moments of solitude with not a soul or sound on my descent. In that moment everything felt right, summit or not. Despite all my other harder, longer, higher, etc. climbs there was never a guarantee to "success." This climb was about a personal challenge to go and try a climb alone and know what that experience felt like. Overall, I'm happy. I fully enjoyed the experience despite the outcome. The mountains continue to be the best teacher. They quickly show us humility, they make us reach deep to find our true limits, they fill us with wonder & curiosity, they make us want more from ourselves & this one life we have to live #photooftheday
What is it about these places that moves us...to dare, be bold, to fall & get up. I've thought a lot more about the fall I had on my descent from Mt. Blanc last month. What a way to start a trip! My friend Kevin once said, "never been more alive than when ya nearly dead, huh?" It's true though. Your reflexes kick in unbelievably. So when you fall on a climb or in sports in general, you typically try to get up right away and keep going. My fall on the rock scramble portion of the route could have no doubt been fatal and my shoulder and knee are still feeling it 3 weeks later, but the good news was, well all in all I was able to get up and walk away from it & have the rest of a fabulous adventure in Europe. I fell and I got up. No brainer in this scenario, but why is it with life stuff, the hard stuff that sometimes we fall and it's hard to get up? Each fall might dampen our spirit a bit more, mess with our heads to believe less in what we were trying for. I'm home now and I've been thinking about all the "falls" the past 8 years not because I want to dwell on the past, but because in some of those "falls" I wasn't able to just snap back up immediately, it took time. Some of the "falls" broke my heart, knocked me down, made me question why I was doing what I was doing or believe less. I lost precious time in trying to get myself "back up." Even as a founder the past 3 years alone have had lots of "falls", & as a founder you have to get up and keep going & dust yourself off or it's over. Repeatedly falling is exhausting if you dwell on the fall itself or stay down for too long. This fall on the mountain delivered a powerful message to me: "GET UP"! No matter what, get up, do the self care-"are you ok? What do I need to be ok?", then get up, dust off, smile in the fact you were able to get up & keep going, & don't dwell on the fall itself, but on how you were able to rise. Wow that gives a new positive perspective to falling, failing, having to get up & try again. Don't get stuck on being down, it serves no one. I don't regret the climb because I fell, it was part of the journey...& an amazing one at that! #ChooseAdventure @altitudeseven