This last weekend - I lead my first 5.12 trad climb. I have been a 5.11 climber for the past five seasons. 5.12 rock climbing was a seemingly impassable roadblock in my climbing career. It is daunting, overwhelming and simply terrified me. My fear held me back - keeping me from even trying. The fear felt binding.
My fear will no longer impede achievement in climbing, or in life. I have employed a new strategy to push myself out further of my comfort zone. I decided to trust my judgement and instinct. Too much time and energy is wasted dithering on perceived difficulty. If greatness is desired - then risks must be taken. The only way to get stronger, mentally and physically, is to try the unthinkable.
I saw a quote the other day - instead of asking, ``Why is this happening to me?,” ask “What is this teaching me?”’ My two conscious decades of life have taught me that trial by fire reliably promotes the most growth if we are self-aware, willing to admit our mistakes and learn from them. Getting better means expanding your depth of knowledge - experience is the best teacher.
My life has been packed full of new experiences lately. I have had an entrepreneurial philosophy for years. I worked in afterschool programs, I guided rafting, I had a poker career, I tried to start a campground. The brief life of my new venture, the rerouted co-op, is packed to the brim with new, exciting, scary experiences.
Many challenges have arisen that I have never encountered before. Unbelievably good developments happen - we respond to accommodate. Our goal is to make selling and buying used/imperfect outdoors gear easier, aide wilderness access and education charities and reduce the negative environmental impact our passions had on Mother Earth.
The rerouted co-op’s goal is far more overwhelming, stressful and fear inspiring than that 30-foot blank section of one-inch crack. But both feel achievable. The mission, and crack, are ambitious sights - but goals that I have the skills, experience and support to realistically set. I needed my 1000 past climbs, my 10-year climbing career, my friends and my fiance.
It takes dedication, inspiration and energy so much to reach goals we set in the clouds. Sometimes - we just need to aim high and hit launch. That climb destroyed me. I ended up pulling on gear through the hardest parts. I was bloody, tired and sore by the end of it. The next day I woke up and pulled some scrap wood together and built a replica. The trial had ignited my passion.
Once the decision has been made to push it to the limit - it comes more naturally the next time. Facing your fears head on is the only way to become unafraid. Falling isn’t failing if your intention is to learn and grow.
I am so amped to become a stronger human while our business builds momentum. I, and thus the rerouted co-op, want to help people and save the planet. How Miss America of me - but it’s the truth. We hardly need external motivators to challenge the expectation of the used gear industry. I am so blessed to start a business that gives back and allows me to pursue my personal passions. I plan on giving every shred of energizer bunny I have to the rerouted co-op.
Our mission is spreading quickly. I am so thankful to all the support through our launch. We have stared down the barrel of many daunting tasks so far - and there are surely more in the future. Time to put my head down and gear up for good.