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Scaling Your Own Everest

Ever had one of those moments or situations when you have come across something that you were not prepared for or expecting and it completely threw you?

And when I say threw you, I mean to the point of retreat.

An obstacle, a stumbling block and obstruction that caused you to take evasive action. Not because of imminent danger but because self doubt or fear and through that reaction, you diverted from current course of action and went with Plan B?

So my question to you now is… “Did you ever go back and conquer that Everest?”

And if so, what made the difference for you the second time around?

Was it increased skill, better understanding, help from a friend? Perhaps it was due to more research on your part? Each of these will have a huge impact in you overcoming the obstacle, that at one stage, had you turning away from it.

But did the ability to get the job done ever come from a more simple approach?

Basically, you walked to the foot of the mountain, understood what was in front of you and realised that if you took your time, don’t be foolish and just keep moving in a safe and controlled manner, that before too long, you will be standing victorious upon the summit of your own Everest?

Just this past weekend I had the pleasure of watching a young lady do exactly this.

James Estate at Baerami, NSW played host to a few hundred crazy mountain bike riders as they took part in the Rocky Trail Jet Black 12 hour race.

Yes, 12 hours on bike! Either in teams of 3 or 4 or if you have the legs and the mental capacity you could have gone it solo.

But back to the story…I just happened to come across a lady after she returned from completing her first lap of the 9.6 km course. She was, to say the least, a little down on her self. Now although the track wasn’t overly technical, it had for some reason spooked her little and to the point where you could see she was filled with self doubt.

As with all situations like this, she had family and friends around her doing everything they could to console and to help her. But it no avail. There was a level of frustration as this young lady came to terms with the fact that the trail had got the better of her. The more she pondered what had just taken place the angrier she got.

From my observation I believed that although she was doubting herself, on one hand she knew she was more than capable of riding this trail and riding it well. Hence such a high level of emotion.

Second lap, similar result, only this time with tears. Family and friends once again doing everything they could. Words of advice, consoling, empathy and perspective but unfortunately no traction.

At this point the young lady was psychologically spent. At a guess I would say she was close to being ready to say I will never ride a bike again and at the very least, she was preparing to call it a day.

The only problem was that she had one lap to go and that fact unfortunately, wasn’t open for debate as she was in a team of four and the other riders within her team needed her. But more importantly wanted her to complete the challenge and in the process, come away with some sense of personal achievement and renewed self belief.

As the race went on and as time came closer for her final lap, the sun began to drop behind the mountains and of course the temperature plummeted.

No doubt about it, this last lap was going to be a challenge in more ways than one. The day had already shown that our young lady had been smacked by the trail but to now have to go and tackle it in the dark!

The team knew it was up to them to help get this done, so discussion took place and culminating from that discussions the following… Did our young lady want someone from the team to ride with her on what was to be her last lap of the race but it was also going to be her first night lap?

The answer, Yes!

But it was neither an emphatic, decisive or an excited yes, but hey it was still a yes.

So off, our young lady went on her last lap, complete with team mate in tow. One hour and ten minutes later the two returned.

Our young lady?

Ecstatic, over the moon, a different person!

Why?

What had caused the pain of the day to be removed and to be removed through a more difficult circumstance?

The answer was simple, and in her own words…I couldn’t be scared by what I couldn’t see!

Basically she said the things that had scared her all day, because of nightfall she could no longer see. She focused intently on what she could see and simply rode the trail in front of her and from that undoubtedly…

The Journey Continues!

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