Climbing Lessons

A few years ago I did a spot of climbing in Slovenia.

I’ve loved to climb since I was in my teens,and have always favoured free climbing,or soloing,which basically means it’s just you and a bag of chalk (although i haven’t always had the bag of chalk!) and no ropes.

Ashley in Slovenia

On this memorable trip I climbed one mountain that was pretty easy,except for the last 100 metres or so which made it the hardest climb I’ve ever done.

I got to a certain point on the face where the rock started to jut out towards me,which made it almost impossible to see a hand or foothold. I found myself in the position where I couldn’t see any way to get down and neither could I see a way up, so the only way to progress was to let go with one hand and swing my body until in hope, I found a place to put my free hand and hopefully a foot too.

It was an exhausting experience and at one point,I had no place to put my feet and as the rock face was coming towards me,I could only hold on with my hands and my legs were dangling. I was so tired I dropped my head,and there,below my feet I saw a sheer,2000 metre drop. The shock of the view below caused my body to go from extremely cold to extremely hot and back seconds. I felt my whole body tense up and I went light headed… I think it’s called panic!

I gathered myself,continued,and about half an hour later,made it to the top.

I could never put into words the exhilaration of that moment..such an adrenaline rush! I sat at that summit for a long time. I felt really empowered by the experience and thought to myself if I could do that I could do anything.

Around me,were some of the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen. It struck me what a privilege it was to be there,and how few people in the world had seen those views from that place.

So why am I sharing this with you? Well, to illustrate some principles that I learned from it.

1) If you have a goal and apply yourself by taking action to learn new things,you can achieve great things!


2) Be a risk taker! Yes do it with a sense of assurance and confidence- I wouldn’t have put myself in that position without having learned the techniques and gone through intense training to be confident enough to do it- but that’s the thing…DO IT!! many people in their businesses get busy reading all the right books,jumping on all the webinars etc etc..all great stuff and keep doing it,but you have to get to a point where you just get stuck in and get going! You may not feel like you have all the answers,in the same way in climbing you’re always going to come across challenges you haven’t met before,but be bold and make a move…create momentum.


3) Don’t look back! Fear very nearly fatally gripped me! And all because I took my eye off where I was going. Maybe past disappointments do that for you. Maybe the fear of things not working out,or the fear of making mistakes,but those things are just unnecessary baggage so don’t take them with you. You’re in a new place..dig in,focus and keep your eyes on the goal.


4) While you have your eyes on your goal,also remember you need to take it one step at a time. Taking risks doesn’t equate to being careless. Have a strategy in place at all times.


5) Stepping out of your comfort zone gives you a huge sense of achievement and is totally worth it! It’s the place where you experience growth and the place where you will see success.

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