I was supposed to be a rock star.
I was also supposed to be a jet fighter pilot and a pet store owner. Oh . . . and win the Indy 500.
Well I did at least raise parakeets for a short while, so they weren’t all failed dreams.😐
Then at 19 years of age, my college biology professor suggested that I go to medical school. Now that really sounded impossible. No one in my family was involved in medicine, we had no connections, and zero college fund.
But for some reason, that vision, that dream, took hold. I researched medical schools, moved my new spouse and myself to Omaha Nebraska to be close to University of Nebraska Medical Center, determined that I would finish my bachelor degree in three years instead of four, lived off mac and cheese in a cockroach infested apartment and studied my little behind off. Sandra and I both took minimum wage jobs to make ends at least kinda approach each other.
And what do you know? I started medical school at the ripe old age of 21 years old.
So what does all that have to do with climbing?
Recently I have been researching what it takes to succeed. My motivation has honestly been to figure out how to make this whole gym thing work out and grow, but the process works for anything. And even more importantly, I believe the skills and determination that we learn from climbing can carry over to all other areas of life, be that relationships, careers, dreams or whatever.
So as I examined my life to date, I see the dreams that weren’t fulfilled and recognize that part of that was a lack of desire and commitment. Then I look at things like my medical degree or opening Bliss. Both were probably just as improbable, but the difference was that first I had a specific result in mind that I chose to own (medical school in three years, rock climbing gym in Wichita Kansas).
Next I had a very compelling purpose and commitment to those dreams. Finishing medical school I knew would bring incredible pride to my family and myself as well as the fact that I had leveraged everything by moving to Omaha. It was go big or go home time. Bliss likewise was driven by a desire to accomplish something great, as well as to honor the life of my son Caleb. It was made even more real by the fact that we purchased land almost two years before we even obtained financing.
Finally, both took tremendous amounts of planning, trials, errors and then re-directing to get to the end results. The rock star dream ended as soon as my voice cracked in puberty.
Motivational guru, Tony Robbins, calls these RPM plans. Result, Purpose, Massive Action Plan. He would point out that to accomplish anything (including hitting that grade you are dreaming of) require a clear measurable result, a compelling purpose and then a massive action plan (steps you will start taking to obtain that result).
So let’s go ahead; define what the result is that we want from our climbing experience. Is it a grade, social interaction, weight loss, fun? Doesn’t really matter, but you knowing why you are here will not only make your time more productive but also much more enjoyable. Then carrying those lessons on into the rest of our lives will make us all better citizens of this giant rock.
Now: Go Big or Go Home 👊
Climb Hard and Follow Your Bliss,