Archive for March, 2011

The Literacy Project

// March 28th, 2011 // No Comments » // Events

This morning I had the opportunity to be on TV8 ( www.TV8vail.com ) with Tricia Swenson and do an interview about my book and an upcoming event.  The event will benefit the Literacy Project and will be taking place this Wednesday evening, March 30 at Berry Creek Middle School in Edwards.  The Literacy Project ( www.LiteracyProjectEagleCounty.org ) has over 100 hundred volunteers who help children and adults in our community to learn English, reading, and writing skills.

I will be sharing about my experiences with slides and video while encouraging people to support this local non-profit.

This event is put on by the Bookworm.  They will have copies of The Summit: Faith Beyond Everest’s Death Zone on hand for purchase.

The Bookworm of Edwards
295 Main Street C101
Edwards, CO 81632
www.bookwormofedwards.com

Attitude is Altitude

// March 25th, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

As someone who travels and speaks and gets to share stories of inspiration, I too am always looking to be inspired and looking for stories of people who are living extraordinary lives.  So many times we let circumstances dictate our attitude and we see the mountains in our lives as too big to overcome.  Nick Vujicic is one of those people who sees the possibilities and potential, not the excuses.  I have watched a few of his videos and listened to him speak and now my nagging toe injury doesn’t seem so bad.  Nick gave me a boost to face today’s challenges. check him out at www.attitudeisaltitude.com

Courage or Comfort?

// March 24th, 2011 // 1 Comment » // Uncategorized

Out of the Comfort Zone

Just recently I have been challenged by the thought of the goal of our lives being the pursuit of comfort.  We work hard for that “cushy” top spot or for retirement so that we can finally relax in the style that we “deserve.”  But if that is the goal of our lives, what becomes of our lives?  The T.V. and recliner paint the best picture as we morph into a pasty, consuming, unchallenged and unfulfilled blob.  People are designed for challenge, creativity, risk, adventure all things which to some degree require courage, and if this is the way we will choose to live comfort must be reserved for the bed-top pillow and eight hours of attention each night.

Comfort and courage can not coexist.

If we do what is comfortable we avoid the challenge, the risk, the adventure and miss out on not only great rewards, but we miss out on what those things can make us and the character that is forged from facing obstacles.

When we step out in courage we are forced to use our brains, skills, and if we are smart those around us that we trust.  On the contrary if we sit down in comfort we don’t need trust, we don’t need faith, we certainly don’t need God, because we have learned to rely on ourselves and the comforts we have surrounded ourselves with.

So with this thought I have challenged myself to start some new conversations and quit striving to make my life more comfortable.  I will instead strive to live with a little more risk and a lot more courage because the rewards are greater and the impact greater reaching.

10 Essentials

// March 18th, 2011 // No Comments » // Climbing

The ten essentials to a day out in the mountains are this:

1. Map
2. Compass
3. Headlamp and spare batteries
4. Extra food
5. Extra clothing
6. First-Aid Kit
7.Sunglasses
8. Lighter/Matches
9. Fire Starter
10. Pocket Knife

I always add a reflective blanket and a .99 cent plastic poncho that can act as a quick shelter.  I have a kit that fits into a large sandwich size zip-loc bag and goes out the door with me every time I leave to hit the trail or backcountry.  With some handwarmers, sunscreen, lip balm, and water purification tabs I can be out for quite a while and survive with just this kit and the clothes on my back.

The ten essentials and the ability to know how and when to use them is rather simple.  They can help a person in the most dire of situations and make the difference between life and death.  If this is so simple in the outdoors, can it be that much harder in business?  What should be the ten essentials for business?  I will seek some answers and respond to my own question next time.

Simplicity

// March 14th, 2011 // No Comments » // Reflections

DirtyDipes w a Smile

One of the greatest joys of having a two year old (times two) is that everything is new and exciting.  From “hairplanes” to “lemon m’s” many things that I see everyday and take for granted are transformed into marvelous objects of wonderment and delight.  So in order to keep from becoming an old crotchety crusty bitter and sour geezer I am going to attempt (perhaps just for lent) to give up my stale perspective and look at life with a fresh two year old’s perspective.  While I may not scream at the sight of a spider or fly, and though it may take Novocain for me to see some things as wonderful, I will try to see things with fresh eyes, dusting the crust off as I wake up and start a new day.

The Knot

// March 4th, 2011 // No Comments » // Climbing, Leadership, Reflections

Knotty

Knots are helpful, handy and useful.  Properly tied knots are essential for climbers and as I tie in with a partner I often joke saying “if ya can’t tie a knot, tie a lot!”  A reply may come back as “a knot not knotted neatly need not be knotted.”  I have been climbing for most most of my life and know how to properly tie dozens of knots using different methods and can do so quickly.  Slip knot, clove hitch, half hitch, girth hitch, truckers hitch, munter hitch, butterfly, bowline, bowline on a coil, butterfly coil, figure eight on a bite, trace eight, single fisherman, double fisherman, and the European death knot just to name a few, but it was only a couple of months ago that I properly learned to tie my shoe (and relearning, undoing 30+ years of motor memory, is difficult).

It is very humbling to admit that for most of my life the simplest of knots, the knot I tie most every day – the bow at the end of my laces – has been tied incorrectly.  “Big deal” ya might say.  Well seeing as how my shoe laces have often come undone rather easily, and how on a few occasions have caused a stumble, I have been quick to blame the lace material as the culprit and am fortunate the consequences have not been more severe.  Besides that, the big deal is that I have only now realized that for most of my life I have been doing something so simple the wrong way.

It wasn’t until I recently started training for a marathon that I saw an article online which showed me the difference between the proper knot, and the knot I had been using.  My laces now sit atop my ankle going perpendicular to my foot as opposed to running along my laces from toe to ankle.  Now my laces look neater, come undone less frequently, and give me a sense of pride that at mid-life I can still learn to tie my shoes.

It got me to thinking about other areas of my life that might also need some retraining.  Are there things I do the way I do them simply because it is the way I have always done them?  From driving my car to making coffee, to teaching my kids I think I will try to keep a humble attitude and open mind.  After all if a life-long climber can’t even tie his shoes (I could just switch to Velcro and flip flops) how proud can I be?