For new readers

To get an idea of what I'm trying to do and why I think it's possible, check out the following entries, they'll help get you up to speed.

Monday, January 30, 2012


I was up much of the night coughing last night.  In fact, at one point i was coughing so violently that it somehow triggered my gag reflex to the point where i threw up a bit.  According to a friend of mine and childhood asthma sufferer, this isn't really that uncommon.  I guess i'm lucky that its taken me 36 years realize this.  Needless to say i'm getting a good abdominal workout without trying.

But now to the point - I always try to use that middle of the night awake time to explore things that have been on my mind.  Recently, i've been thinking about the role of fear as a mental limitation in reaching physical potential.  I'm not sure exactly how it works - but i'm pretty sure that it plays a part.  Much of my mental 'training' in the early days had less to do with suffering (although i did end up suffering my fair share) and more to do with fear management.  Climbing is good about that.

Ridge descent after climbing the face of Mt. Talbot, NZ (2006)
Any big ambitious route my brother and I set out to do was chock full of uncertainty, and sometimes that uncertainty contained a fair amount of risk.  The ability to accept and manage that risk - or the potential for it - probably plays a significant role, in combination with my intimate knowledge of suffering, in why i might be able to access more of my physical potential than people with different backgrounds.  I learned to be very much present, even in very dire situations, and just deal with the facts in front of me.  I think this has served me well in my pursuits, and i find myself drawing on it both two days into a four day adventure race and two minutes into a super hard tabata interval.

The latter of which, by the way, is not unlike the violent coughing i experienced last night in that it too, is quite capable of triggering the gag reflex.  It's always nice to come full circle.

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