It was going to be a long, hot and tiring day! I began the ritual of hydrating myself 24 hours before a full day on the ropes course, maximizing my body’s stamina for the day ahead in the squelching heat. The day was going to be particularly rigorous because not only was a great amount of strength and energy going to be expended in belaying 100 people up the 40 ft. climbing tower, zipline and repelling wall, but speed was also going to be a key factor in keeping a rhythm between the other members of the team. We had our system down, but it was always a challenge to coax such a large group of climbers and jumpers through their fear, constantly assuring them of safety, trust in our abilities and in the equipment.
We would begin early in the morning and work until dinner time, maximizing the hours we had in the day in order to get all the climbers the experience necessary for their training day in the hot and humid South Florida climate. Being completely in sinc with each other with our climbing lingo ( On Belay, Off Belay, Climber Secure, Climber Zipping, Climber Repelling) in order to maximize the limited minutes we had with each group was the difference between success and failure. Equipment instruction and rotation had to be implemented quickly and with the least amount of words in order to maximize the climbers attention and ability to follow instructions. This was not going to be a leisurely, “fly by the seat of your pants” day.
Needless to say, by the end of the day, we were exhausted. Each of us had pushed ourselves beyond what we thought our muscles could handle. Our bodies ached, our clothes were saturated with sweat, and our voices were weary. We had succeeded in minimizing also. Fear was minimized and replaced with courage. Tears were minimized and replaced with smiles. Weakness was minimized and replaced with strength. Screams of terror were quickly minimized and replaced with shouts of joy. Those who were struggling with thoughts of failure were soon celebrating the sweet aroma of success. Each and every participant had come to the edge and taken the leap necessary to hold their head up high, breathed in the fresh adventure and experienced the ethereal sensation of complete abandon.
On reflection, it occurred to me that the entire day was all about maximizing and minimizing. Having never made this distinction before, it was one of those “aha” moments for me, particularly with the concept of “coming to the edge.”
“Minimize what is attempting to define you in order to maximize the outcome.”
- The only way to minimize whatever is attempting to define you and in doing so becomes a hindrance, is to press against the very thing which needs to take up less space as opposed to giving way and allowing it to expand and take up more space.
- Acknowledge its existence but press against it and through it until it no longer has prominence.
What awaits on the other side of this sometimes long process?
The Maximum Reward~!