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It was 2:00 am, pitch black but for the twinkling headlamps of my fellow climbers on Mt. Rainier. Crampons on my boots, ice axe in my hand, inexorably tethered to a climbing team of four. I’m scrambling up the aptly named, Disappointment Cleaver, despair creeping into my consciousness. This is where I learned the meaning of “how” commitment.
Though I’d trained hard and felt great on the climb the day before, I was laboring mightily in the higher altitude. (Guide, RMI owner and mountaineer, Peter Whittaker, told me later I wasn’t breathing properly. Ugh!) While we charged past other rope teams, I felt as if I was barely hanging on, I’d never been so completely spent. (What made me think this was a good way to celebrate my 50th birthday?!)
I was toast!
It was a Thursday night, a couple of months ago. I was frantically preparing to facilitate a full-day workshop on Friday for a coaching client and his team – and I felt ill-prepared. On top of that, I was to facilitate a full-day retreat for the CEO roundtable I facilitate on Saturday… at my home!
And I wasn’t ready. Ugh! And I was tight as a drum.
I explored the experience with my coach afterward. She asked “What had you choose that response?” It was fortunate that it was a video coaching call, because I kinda wanted to slap her. 😉
I responded, “Well, I suppose I did choose that response, and it certainly wasn’t an intentional choice.”
What became clear after our exploration was that my tightness and rigidity was being driven by the story I was telling myself. It was a story of “have tos.” (more…)