The ‘Everest’ Connection
IF climbing Everest were easy, what would be the value in doing it?
Very little beyond admiring the view or using it as a stepping stone to something more demanding, I suspect. When we really challenge ourselves is when we grow or discover sides to ourselves we never knew existed.
Sue said before she started the Amazing 12 that this program was her ‘Everest’. Her late and dear father could relate much more to climbing than he could training in a gym. And when times have been tough on this program, Sue has switched her attention to her father, as though she were calling on superpowers.
Going up Everest is never going to be smooth sailing even for the most esteemed climber. But there is still a tremendous amount to be gained from scaling such a peak, just as there is in completing the Amazing 12.
I am using this analogy in relative terms, of course.
Sticking with the analogy, I am effectively the guide leading my group – Sue, Kari and Ross – up the mountain. Everyone is making great progress and on course as i put them through their paces at Core Results. There are no slackers. But along the way we’ve had questions asked and some difficult moments. All a part of the journey, I say. The goal is to reach the top and learn from overcoming the different obstacles faced along the way.
The hiccups thus far have been few, in fairness. Kari had to take a few days off in week 4 for work, Ross missed a few sessions in week 5 because of sickness and this week he tweaked his back while squatting, admitting he’d failed to check his breathing. These things happen. But it was a wake-up call for Ross.
“I realised what I did,” he said. “It could have been much worse. I’m actually grateful for it. It made me realise how important set-up is on these lifts and just the slightest loss of concentration can result in injury.”
So here we are, at the end of week six. Last week it was Ross who was in the tunnel of doubt, but he has now seen some light and is in a much better place. In fact, he was looking like a powerhouse at the end.
“This week’s been a real turning point for me,” he said. “I’m beginning to believe. I can see things happening. I feel really elitist to be doing this – not in a I’m-better-than-everyone-else sort of way, but more like this is a really special thing to do.”
It was the turn of Sue this week to lose the faith, if only very briefly. Again, metaphorically-speaking, she has had to battle with her thoughts and uncertainty, though never to the point of not continuing. Sue hasn’t missed a day. It was more like she was asking the guide – again and again – are you sure we are heading the right way?
For the guide (me), the answer is always an obvious ‘yes’. But a dark cloud can mean something different to a guide than it does to the inexperienced climber. To the climber, there for the first time and unsure of the terrain and conditions, it’s dicey territory, especially if you don’t relinquish control. It’s that trust thing all over again.
As the guide, I have the knowledge of how to get to the top and in the best and safest way. That’s my job. That’s my objective. I know the pitfalls and I have a method for dealing with them. But to travel with me, you need to have faith in me.
This week we had a small pep talk about mindset because I really believe – and I see it week in, week out – that limits are imposed by the mind rather than the body.
I don’t train to discover a limit, because where do you go when the limit is established? Instead, I don’t seek limits and seldom venture close to them. The aim is to continue progressing, because it’s about convincing the mind what is possible.
This week Sue overcame a few challenges, one of which had stumped her last week – and she did it without much difficulty. What Ross can do now compared to the first week, when he struggled, is ridiculous. And Kari, a very steady operator, improves with almost every session though even she had a little roadblock this week.
When this journey is over, however, I’m confident they will feel like they have never felt before. They’ll look back on this experience and to the uneasy and questionable moments and wonder why they ever doubted themselves or me.
It’s normal. How many people who have confronted their ‘Everest’ haven’t faced periods and moments of uncertainty or anxiety? You just need to keep moving towards your goal. Focus on how far you have come, what you have accomplished, what are your strengths, what you CAN do…
No wonder they say your mind fails before your body. The mind gives the orders. Tame the mind. Feed it with information that strengthens and not weakens it. There are many lessons to be learned on this path.
It takes 12 weeks to scale the Amazing 12. You need to be equipped: eat the right foods; bring the right attitude; stick to the plan; stay focused; keep showing up.
I’m not at all worried. Sue, Kari and Ross are all precisely where I want them. Like I said, I know the way ahead. I know they can all make it. I know they can all achieve fantastic results. They now have to trust themselves as we move ever closer to the peak.
“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination and belief.”
The last session of the week was another strong one. Ross, with a smile back on his face, turned to me and said, “I feel on top of the world right now.”