May 26, 2011

Featured writer - Jennica Hirrlinger

I always truly enjoy reading Jennicas articles.  Each time I read one I learn something powerful.  I learn a life lesson that I couldn't have learned in a classroom.  She teaches us that we are truly tougher than we think we are.  Thanks for sharing another truly inspired read.

Success or Failure - Featured Writer Jennica Hirrlinger
What would you do if you knew you could not fail?  I’ve seen this question being asked all over facebook lately and I, personally, think it’s a tricky question.  I mean, sure it would be fun to just have it all handed to me but, man, the risk of failure is what makes success so intense.  It’s the lows and the down times and insecurity of it all that truly allows us to feel the elation and the joy of the summit.
I am often asked how one trains for a marathon.  “It’s so far!  I can only run 3 miles.”  To that, I usually respond that the first three miles are the hardest.  And, they are.  It takes a while for our bodies to warm up.  Beyond that though, it also takes a while for our brains to warm up to the idea that we physically can run that far.  Our mental toughness runs on a parallel track with our physical endurance and they grow together.
I learned some things about myself on a recent climbing outing.  I spent a couple hours hanging out on a wall, higher than I’ve ever climbed and feeling stuck, with nothing to do but to wait and to contemplate how I felt about being up there and being completely out of control and trusting someone else to help me succeed.  My brother and I did our first multi-pitch climb and while there were a few moments where I thought I might totally lose it my overall feeling is that I got just a little bit more mentally tough.  Even at my most anxious, I could still make myself continue physically doing what needed to be done and though I was not yet at a place where I could get back on solid ground, I could talk and think my way down from the stress I was having.  And, I realized how amazing and exhilarating it was to be up there and I got tougher.

I got tougher, not because I could not fail, but because there was a huge risk that I would fail.  I could have easily found out that I was not cut out for the whole climbing thing or I could have chosen not to ever see what it was like to run further than 3 miles.  But I didn’t.  I took a risk and it feels good.  So, instead of asking what would you do if you knew you could not fail, ask yourself what you can learn through your failure and take the risk.  The feeling of success is totally worth it!


Jillicious said...

nice article, jennica! the mental game is the true battle! keep on climbing, my friend!

Dawn said...

So VERY true! Mind over matter. My mantra when I run...or do anything I find hard at points is...."IT'S ALL IN MY HEAD!!" Great post.

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