In When All Else Fails, Fail, I shared my thoughts on the importance of deliberately making things happen, even if you know they may not work out like you planned. I recommend this approach based on my belief that failure is not failure, unless you make it so. When you fail, you may not accomplish the short-term objective you aimed for. But if you dissect the failure, embrace its lessons, and act on them to accomplish future goals, the failure disappears — literally.
I put this theory the test (again) yesterday when I decided that my husband and I should take the kids to Crowders Mountain for an afternoon of family fitness, bonding and mountain climbing. The photo is of me before the hike, looking confident and excited. Little did I know …Before yesterday, I'd had exactly one mountain climbing experience, and it was successful. Expecting a similar experience at Crowders, I engaged my Runkeeper iPhone app and set out with my family to conquer King's Pinnacle, the higher of Crowders's two peaks.
What I didn't consider much in advance was the fact that the first mountain I climbed is not as high or as steep as King's Pinnacle. So, not surprisingly, I failed to summit. While my husband and 8-year old daughter reached the top, I cooled my heels with my son, within eyesight of them.
So, fail, right? Well, no.
Failure is Not Failure, Unless You Make It So
Being new to mountain climbing, I figured if two mountains looked pretty much alike, they would be pretty much equally challenging to climb. Had I paid more attention, I would have known that, while King's Pinnacle starts out as a mildly challenging trek, it eventually becomes amazingly steep. Had I paid attention to the map and remembered my limitations, I would have known that I should have tackled Crowders, an easier climb, instead. And had I really had my wits about me, I would have paid special attention to the clearly marked “Strenuous” designation next to the King's Pinnacle map. Duh-o!
Now that I know what to look for when choosing mountains to climb, I am equipped to make wiser hiking choices. This means I will increase my chances of reaching future summits. I can look forward to this experience because I failed the first time and learned from that failure.
Perhaps more importantly, according to my Livestrong workout tracker, I burned nearly 1,000 calories in the process. Somehow, that turns this failure into a win all by itself!
King's Pinnacle and I will meet again. And next time, I will return even more victorious.
Question: What mountains, real or figurative, have you climbed lately?
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1282 or 1625 feet above sea level