Earlier this week I was climbing toward the summit of Mt. Shasta and I was in pain. My hands and toes were freezing cold, my body had spent its last reserves, and I asked myself: Why am I doing this??
They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again getting the same result and expecting something different. So?. I must be insane. Possibly. This recent climb was my 4th attempt at Mt. Shasta and each time I climb her it hurts. Yes it is also exhilarating, fun, and breathtaking, but nonetheless it is a painful experience. Sometimes it is more painful than others, like that one time I got lost on the mountain for 38 hours in well below freezing temperatures, and other times it?s just painful. But back to this question of why? Why do I like this? Those questions are the big ones, the deep ones, the ones that truly draw out the heart of a matter. I can answer that question?. I like going beyond myself. Most of our lives are lived inside of our capabilities. We do so because that?s what you?re told to do. It?s the wise thing to do, the safe thing. Venturing into an area that is beyond your capabilities, knowledge, or experience is risky. It?s dangerous. But its also stretching and growing. Going beyond myself is where my favorite moments begin. It is where I end and something entirely new begins. A new chapter. A new part of me. In that unknown is where the best things happen to me?. pain, challenges, fears, which leave me with a choice to either step in or run away. I love that moment on the mountain when your body is saying no, your mind is saying your spent, and your emotions are screaming take me down now! In that moment you get to choose to go beyond your limits, to go into the unknown and discover someone altogether new.
When I looked at myself in the mirror this morning I saw confidence. I am confident because I repeatedly step beyond myself into the unknown and I come out alive and a better me. You know the saying Whatever doesn?t kill you makes you stronger.? Well its true and I recommend putting yourself in the way of death more often. Not always physical death, but sometimes. But also the death of your status, pride, and even your heart. Most of what we do at Arc Solutions today I didn?t know how to do when we started. I stepped into the wilderness on that one. It was way beyond me and some of the best changes in me I?ve seen yet have come from it. We are only the things that we have been tested in. It takes fire to see what is real. You can?t be proud of something until you put it in the blaze and see if it comes out. Climbing mountains and building a company that restores warzones push me beyond. Insane? Probably. But, is crazy a bad thing to be?